Getting time off work was a rarity, getting time off work in the summer was nothing short of a miracle, but getting time off work that coincided with your partner simply didn’t happen. Contrary to all rules of nature, it just had. Not something to be dwelt over, they had left the building the day before trying their hardest to pretend they didn’t exist, never had, and never would again. Someone remembering their presence now would simply not do. That brought with it the risk of them being told quite directly that they were no longer hurtling across the country at worrying speeds in a car packed to the brim with clothes and snacks, and that they were instead staying here to run around like circus monkeys. 

To their innocent delight, their impersonation of someones who would very politely apologise and tell you they had absolutely not a clue what you were talking about if you asked them what it meant to exist, had been successful, and early the next morning they were indeed hurtling across the country at worrying speeds in a car packed to the brim with clothes and snacks. They had been granted a long weekend of leave, and a long weekend of leave they were going to have. Phones had been carefully removed of their sim cards - they were reluctant to be left without the news or the time -, the car radio had had a very unfortunate encounter with a cup of coffee which they would sadly not have the time to fix until they got back, and the hotel for which they had left the address sadly was no longer their destination due to some errors which they would be very happy to take complete responsibility for in a weeks time.

Step one was southwards. The hotel they would actually be staying at had claimed to be a four hour drive from the city, so a four hour drive became the beginning of their plans. The windows were open allowing the summer breeze inside and allowing their sun-thirsty arms outside. Sunglasses were very much needed in their rightful place but were very much more appreciated where they were now, sat on top of their heads acting as nothing more than a fashion accessory. Respectably near the halfway mark, they stopped at some services, stretching their legs into a greasy looking restaurant where they sat in chairs that for some reason unclear to just about everyone who has ever used them, were attached to the table. 

An uneventful experience checking into their hotel, excepting the odd looks they received for sharing a room (“force of habit love, got to be careful of that company budget you know”), left them refreshed and awake the next day unsure of their next move. Nothing had gone wrong, and even though they had spent hours of their spare time in the past years casually planning what they would do if hypothetically they were ever allowed to leave, there had always been too much doubt of that ever happening to make it worth them getting their hopes up. And now they were here and they felt untethered.

There was nobody here to tell them what to do or where to go or how to feel. Just two guys standing in a hotel lobby and being embarrassed about looking at the brochures in the plastic shelves by the door. The brochures that were there for that exact purpose, and who they were sure nobody wasted any thought on, but who they nonetheless felt inferior having to actually read. Surely they must just be there to point out the unprepared and vulnerable. The non-locals, the ones who didn’t come here every year for their holidays, were on a first name basis with the owners, and who had the same room every time, the best one naturally, with a view of the sea.

Brochures perused, they decided to ignore them all and explore on their own, follow their feet maybe, or just their noses. It was a Saturday after all, the town was sure to be alive and therefore sure to include perfectly adequate options for breakfast. And lunch and dinner at that. Their hearts set on finding some scones to make their experience all the more authentic, and their mouths temporarily full with a debate on the topic of jam and cream, they set off, dressed in clothing two degrees too warm. Pancakes were eventually obtained, smothered in too much syrup, and sliced into increasingly less neat triangles. 

The sun was still accompanying them on their travels as they found themselves in a selection of fields, all filled with short green plants which somehow never managed to be grass but seemed to serve the same purpose anyway. There was not a single cloud in the sky, a nicer thing to remember than to experience in real time they quickly realised, as they debated with themselves whether they could undo yet another button on their shirts without restarting those odd looks, and whether it would even be worth it. If there had been a breeze when they left the hotel this morning, it had long since left to get lunch and have an afternoon nap in the sunshine.

They followed suit, time to get lunch and have an afternoon nap in the sunshine, or at least for one of them. Although maybe if he was lucky, they could stop off at some worrisome services again and swap drivers whilst stocking up on crisps in the flavours one only finds in such unpopulated places as services on the side of the M3. For it was time to move on, return the clothes and replenished snacks to the car and make their leisurely way onwards to their next hotel. They were headed away from the fields and hills and towards the beach this time, absolutely not for the purpose of stealing a patterned stone or two to remind them of that one time they actually got away from it all.

June 18, 2021 23:02

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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