As part of my course, I have to practise free-writing every day. Here is my first one for the week. I will not be editing these pieces, so please don’t be offended if you see something awry or offensive. I’m literally setting my mind free.
Trigger Word: arrogance
It came to me in the middle of the night, that self-doubt that eats away at your consciousness, nibbling bits of arrogance and confidence until holes as big as my grandmother’s crocheted tablecloth resembled my self esteem. What a way to greet the morning before an interview for a new role. Every upset, every lie or misunderstanding overshadowed my ablutions, cursing the currents of positivity and throwing them into the back of the shower to be washed away with the soap suds and hopeful dreams. By the time I walked out dressed in my freshly pressed white shirt and blue suit, the remains of what could have been described as my confidence crumbled beneath my italian leather shoes, sandcastles built on the hopes of a better life. All that was left was the hollow me, the empty shell laying to waste on the beach of life, waiting for someone to pick me up and fill me with purpose.
It was at that moment that I found my lighthouse. She segued through the foot traffic, tripping lightly over the crushing waves of pedestrians determined to impede her efforts to reach the platform in time for her train. I watched the animated growls and hisses she made at each blow, fighting, twisting and even skipping away from the torrent of disembarking passengers. My view through the scratched glass remained clear. Already seated in the third carriage, all that remained to do was observe the final thrust of fury she put into fighting for access to my carriage. It became all too real. She would see me and know from my longing stare that I had been waiting my whole life for her to appear. Yet, those few breathless moments before she disappeared past the train doors and into the entrance passage before reappearing in my cabin, I could feel a sudden rush of euphoria. My courage was back. That self esteem that had been whittled away throughout the night replenished at the thought of seeing her. Just the impending presence of her in my carriage would be enough to make me fight for any role, any job. She was my destiny and I had to be worth something for her to notice me.
At last, here she was, standing in all her beauty and glory. Her dark locks sprang out in disarray; her pretty red dress dulled in the early morning train light and the pea green coat felt unhinged on the thin frame holding it in place. Still, I was enamoured. She wasn’t perfect, she was just right for me. Those green eyes burnt with enthusiasm as she searched the cabin for a free seat, triumphantly striding towards me as she noticed the free space next to me I had been careful to keep with my briefcase – until now. Before her body touched mine, I could smell her. She smelled of fresh cut roses and mint mixed together with spearmint gum. Her smile lit those emerald depths with a fire that swelled in my chest and travelled south.
“Is this seat taken,” she drawled, her accent as bracing as those rotten teeth exposed to the air.
My gasp was taken as acknowledgement and she clambered into the squashed confines of the two-seater with a table in front of it, grinning at the passengers facing us. Their reactions matched my own internal turmoil. How could something so beautiful hold such treachery behind those soft lips? My anger at such a misnomer as my heart’s description of this beauty burned out the light in my lighthouse. Let those dark waves tear at any ships of hope and arrogance voyaging my way. Who needed a new job, anyway?