I’m sitting at my desk at work. The radio is on but is not distracting me. My chest is heavy and tight and there is a sense of something wrong. I am relieved that no one can see me, blocked as I am by my computer screen and all the teachers away in class.

I want to cry. More than anything, I want that release. 45 minutes left. 20 minutes to walk home. Get in the door, fight past the dogs and the quick hellos if my flatmate is in. As always, I hope she is not.

There will be no food tonight. I just need to get to my room, shut the door and let it out. Let out the crushing foreboding and the wrongness. Bury my face in something to smother the cries and sobs. Press it against my nose and mouth, suffocate these feelings. I will consider pushing harder, holding it tighter against me, that pillow or duvet or cardigan, but I won’t; I’ll chicken out as usual and in 15 hours, I’ll be back here at my desk staring at the computer screen and the rooftops of Sant Andreu, idly watching the man who grows marijuana on his terrace opposite hanging out his washing, longing for the mountains in the distance, watching the clock in the bottom right hand corner, counting down.

With half an hour until I can escape, I try to focus on my breathing. I try to rid my eyes of tears. I fight the urge to run.


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