Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mid-Week Blues Buster - The Only Way Out Is West!

This week's song prompt is Connie Dover - I am going to the West 

I'd never heard it before but my thoughts first travelled east and I set my story in Lowestoft, the most easterly point of the United Kingdom, somewhere we spent many family holidays and apparently where my ancestors come from!

The Only Way Out Is West!

Sean was the only one of us who ever got away after sixth form. Few of my close friends went away to university. But Sean escaped and travelled west following the sun.

“Did you know Lowestoft is the most easterly point in the British Isles therefore the only buses out of town go west?”

A fact he was fond of telling me as we revised for our geography exam – a lot of good it did either of us, there were no questions about fishing ports in East Anglia. We laughed insanely although none of our friends understood why we found it quite so amusing.

It surprises me they never guessed I had this massive crush on Sean back then; he could have read the telephone directory out loud and made me smile. 

I made him a mix tape for the journey to London. Any song I could find with the word “west” in the title.

“Thanks Squirt!” he bent down kissing my forehead with brotherly affection as I handed over my gift at the bus stop.

Perhaps I should have told him then how I felt but he was off to the big city while I was stuck here. I’d got a job at the harbour, reasonably well paid, with good prospects – you didn’t up and leave security.

Some twenty years later and my life looked very different, the job got stale like rotting fish, to be honest they were looking to make someone redundant. When my husband walked out it gave me that much need push.

It was time to go west and chase my own dreams, if I could figure out what they were.

I’d planned to look Sean up, we’d lost touch, but I had this daydream all figured out in my head that I would bump into him and… yeah I know, in a big city, as if that would ever happen?

But unexpectedly he came back to Lowestoft. I met him a couple of nights ago in the pub just as I was having my leaving do.

“Hello Squirt!” 

I looked up into those familiar deep brown eyes. We talked all night, walking along the beach when the pub closed and they kicked us out.

We swapped stories, each of us trying to outdo the other in our romantic tales of woe, but I laughed the loudest and longest I had for a long time.

As the sun rose from the east so the trawlers followed and the town started to stir. We said goodbye. Sean wished me luck with an awkward pat on the back rather than the hug I longed for. 

So now I was here waiting for the bus, waiting for something new to begin in my life.

There was a wild biting cold wind blowing straight off the sea, I was afforded little respite from the dilapidated bus shelter. Shattered glass lay sprinkled at my feet resembling fake diamonds that had lost their sparkle.

I wouldn’t miss this place would I?

This town I had grown up in, the salt air that filled my lungs, the pervading smell of fish that lingered softly on my clothes after a day’s work. Unsuccessfully I tried to think up as many reasons to leave as I could but this was my home, good and bad.

As I spotted the bus coming from one direction I saw someone running from the other.

“I think someone else wants the bus.” I said as I handed over my ticket hauling my case on board unaided.

From the bus step I was almost eye to eye with Sean, because how could it have been anyone else?

“I’ve brought you something for the journey.”

He handed me a cassette box.

I thought how strange that a ninety minute mix tape was larger than hours’ worth of music on my new iPod.

“You getting on?” asked the driver.

Sean nodded.

“You’re travelling light.” I said. He had no bags with him.

“All I need is this,” he replied pulling an old walkman out of his overcoat pocket, “complete with double headphone socket and two sets of headphones.”

So this time we travelled west together!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! Fulfillment and searching for new dreams together!