by Robyn Anderson
I’m no-one. The sum total of my worldly possessions is a few clothes and my car, an unregistered 1980’s white Toyota Corolla with a big dent in the right rear panel and a rattle that calls attention to itself at any speed greater than seventy five. Kilometers per hour – not miles. I doubt it would even do seventy five miles an hour but that’s irrelevant because right now I’m watching the Corolla’s lights shine up through at least 4 meters of water and I know in an hour or so there’ll be nothing to see except the skid marks on the road.
It’s amazing how a dose of freezing water can alter reality. I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t trying to kill myself but if the cops come I’ll tell them my shoe got caught under the accelerator and I was in the water before I knew what was happening. I can show them the big red mark on the top of my foot and I reckon I’ve broken my toe, though that’s from kicking a hole in the bathroom door but they don’t know that. Unless they look at the bathroom door and I really hope they don’t.
It’s real quiet now and the stars are so big and hanging so low in the sky it makes me think I should be able to pick them like peaches off a tree. Wish I had a coat. It’s fucking freezing and I don’t think anyone’s coming. That means I’ll have to limp all the way out to the main road and my toe hurts like stink. But I am alive which is something I wouldn’t have put money on twenty minutes ago. I’ve got another shot and I’m not going to make the same stupid mistakes again.
First thing I’m not going to do is fall in love. I know that’s what everyone says after things turn to shit, but right from the start love changes who you are. I’ll give you an example. Say your boyfriend goes out for a few drinks with the boys after work and because you don’t want to look like a loser you do the same and go out with the girls, except you come home at 1am thinking, I’ll sneak in and if he wakes up then ok, I’ll have sex. What you don’t think is that he won’t even be home and you’ll turn into a mad woman texting him a thousand times an hour asking, begging, pleading him come home before you tell him to f-off and drink everything alcoholic in the house then spend the last half hour of darkness in the toilet spewing your guts out. I’m not saying that’s me. I’m just saying all I know was that everything was good until it wasn’t and I have no bloody idea how that happened.
I really liked that car. Apart from Emily that’s all I had that was mine. And they’re both gone now. I don’t want to think about that but I’m going to have to come up with a plan. It won’t be long before someone realizes the front door of the flat shouldn’t be open or the lights blazing in the daytime.
Another mistake to be avoided is getting pregnant. I’m not saying I’ll never do it again because I loved my baby, but I’ll always know things can go wrong and so that one’s sort of half and half in the mistake department. It wasn’t planned but when those two lines showed up I thought, great. No point looking for a job I’m not going to keep. All I cared about was eating and sleeping and not puking in public. I should’ve guessed it would ruin his plans. Watching me get bigger and his dream getting smaller brought out the worst in that man and I can’t tell you the arguments we had.
Giving birth is the worst pain in the world, so bad I thought I was going to die but I knew I wouldn’t ‘cos lots of girls have done it all by themselves then stuck their babies in rubbish bins or dumped them outside the social welfare wrapped in a rug. I didn’t think she’d be a girl. I didn’t think she be anything that’s how hard I tried not to let her in. She had perfect little hands and tiny little fingernails. And she never cried. Not once.
I’m bloody cold but I actually think I’m starting to come right. It’s been a long time since I could think without his voice in my head telling me what to do, but he’s out of there now.
Not like her. I could not let her go. I tried really hard but having her changed me. I started clawing some self respect back out of the deep hole I’d buried it in. Started taking the car places when he was gone and that’s what did it. Him coming home and me not there. Walked right into that one but I don’t think that was a mistake. I think I wanted to end it and it’s a damned shame I didn’t do it earlier.
I suppose I should find someone and tell them what happened. It’ll look better if I do it before they find him, but right now I think I’ll stay with the Corolla. I know what it means, Corolla. It means wreath.
No-one except me has ever known her. But you can bet there’ll be a big stink about him.
I don’t care.
If there’s one mistake I would go back and make again, she would be the one.
Copyright Robyn Anderson 2013