I should leave now. I really should. There’s nothing here to keep me. The party ended a long time ago. All that remains are the scattered crumbs of former pleasures: fading wine stains; crumpled beer cans; the faint scent of stale cigarettes.
I should leave. I Should. Really. Leave. Now.
But still I hesitate. Pacing up and down our narrow hallway, rolling my black suitcase back and forth over the red carpet. Occasionally a wheel snags on the frayed edges, causing me to pause in my pointless journey. As I stop to untangle it, I wonder why I am still here. It can’t be out of any desire to stay. To remain in the hangover of a now that has long past the point of no return to what once was.
Perhaps I am tempted by the tantalising illusion that what might be. That somehow we could still create a future where the bitterness of now is long forgotten, replaced by a magic that could be even better than what once was.
Or is it fear holding me back? The sense that what will be is bound to be a hell far worse than what is. The terror that if I leave, I will find myself yearning for the life I endure now, as much as I now long for the life that what once was.
From the kitchen, the oven clock beeps – seven o’clock – reminding me that the time to choose is passing. Before your feet tramp up the path, before your key turns in the lock I must be unpacked or be gone.
Back or Forth? Once or Future? Now or Never? It is time to make up my mind.
I really should be going. Really. I should.