I drove back home in what felt like barely an hour. I repeatedly turned down the radio as I crossed towns and countys beneath the wheels; I wanted more than anything to feel peaceful. My head burns with an internal monologue that could as well be an angel and devil. I am more unkind to myself than ever these days and it is something I know I have to work on.

It's Black Friday weekend and I can't bear to face Lakeside so I choose Touchwood instead. When I get there I feel lost and confused and lonely. I have hours to kill but I feel rushed and claustrophobic. Instead I choose Soph's house and I feel safe there. We open bottles of champagne and David makes an open fire. I sit with my glass, feet up in front of it and all my loneliness washes away.

This is my second family, and we decide to order Chinese while we watch a crappy movie; the Wedding Ringer. We talk a lot about marriage and I want to divulge into a million words but I know it's not good for me. I don't want to jinx anything so I keep my thoughts to myself like I am all too familiar with these days. We are tired and I rest my head of Soph's shoulders, I commit this moment to memory because I know after this it will be so long before I see her again. 

At dinner we are animated with talking and it turns to shouting and I say this is exactly how I imagine thanksgiving to be. I think that maybe this is marriage, maybe this is life. Arguments that are forgiven as quickly as they escalated. I can hold a grudge for so long, while blackness consumes me and I resent that about myself. 

Before bed, they bring out a birthday cake and my heart melts inside. David takes pictures and I am glad he has captured this moment while my heart is so full. I can't blow out the candles for laughing and know I look silly but it feels so good to be on a high again. I don't hear from Pete most the night, but I don't worry. He is terrible with his phone. I have bad dreams about him and us, and I remember how Lauren told me her bad dreams too. In the pit of my stomach I felt relief knowing it isn't only me who is racked by paranoia and anger sometimes. I think about things I will say to him at home about the worries that are on my mind. I know they will be bottled and I will explode otherwise. In the morning I wake to a text and wonder what he's doing now. I wonder if he thinks the same or if he's swallowed up in his own life. I still haven't lost my stubbornness not to be the first to text.

The drive home today seems distant but I am excited. I have no idea where home is anymore, but I believe it's more about the people than the place. We are meeting Holly for brunch in an hour, and I am fidgeting to get ready. I am always anticipating my next move, and I stop to think maybe that's why I never live in the moment. It rains as I drive home and the winds swing my car between the lines of the M25. When I am home, I feel myself completely relax. Pete is cooking us a whole chicken, basted in garlic with potatoes and vegetables. He has done our weekly shop, lour washing, has lit the candles and makes a drink for us while we sit and talk. I tell him everything that is on my mind and the words overflow from my mouth like lava. Our legs are are intwined on the sofa and I feel my worries dissipate like they were something physical inside me, laying heavy in my stomach. We laugh that I am turning into my dad; taking a 6 hour round trip all for brunch. I think about this weekend and decide that I would drive infinite miles for the love I have felt the past 24 hours. 


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