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The Ripple Effect

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With my phone in hand I walked to the subway exit. Emerging from the underground, lights, car engines and laughter hit my senses.

I heard them talk with their Scottish accent (how I’ve missed it!) and I could see all the red and white lights that left tiny imprints through my irises. Still, I walked as in a hypnotic state, passing by all the pubs and bars full of people.

It seemed like a nice neighbourhood to have bad habits in.

Take a deep breath, Beauchamp. You’re here now and what’s done is done.

It’s been six months since we last talked. The loneliest six months of my life. It’s alright to be alone, I guess, when you still don’t know. How are you supposed to see the light, if you’ve only ever lived in the dark? But from the moment you see the sun and how it spreads all colors around you, you can’t really forget. And from the moment you have someone – the one – to share your life with, his absence haunts you forever. Well, if not forever definitely for six months. I couldn’t stand this emptiness anymore.

It was like a check box in my bucket list: Live without him – tried and failed. Miserably.

Tapping the Google Maps icon, I typed the address Murtagh had given me.

200m on foot. 200m to think again and rehearse all I was going to say.

I’d repeated everything so many times already that I felt like a child ready to say a poem at the family gathering. But my audience wouldn’t be as easy or as encouraging.

Don’t forget to explain why, don’t cry, don’t seem too desperate, and please don’t let him pity you.

Loud music came into my ears every time a door opened letting someone in or out the pubs. People seemed happy.

Was Jamie happy too, here? Was I doing a huge mistake coming back?

A tall guy a few meters in front of me was holding a blond girl tight. He wasn’t Jamie, that I knew. But what if Jamie had found his own blond girl here?

I bit my lips so hard that I tasted my blood.

He came here to start a new life. Was I already too late?

Would he be willing to share his laughter with me again?