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I'm sleepless in the jabal.

The summer has receded to the coast and away with it tumbled down the lights of my neighbouring villagers, leaving me with the flickering TV screen of the village priest. He too has a God at home.

Having left behind the tumult of my first day back, I find myself without distractions. I find myself with fishbones in my throat and a writhing ball of maggots in my gut. Even the layers of shawl over jacket over cardigan over T-shirt cannot keep out the cold. Guilt writhes in my belly like a baby kicking its own mother and like a mother ridden with guilt, I stop breathing to make it go away.

I turn around for the last time and behind the curtain of rain and weeping glass I see Imaginary Extraordinary Him looking back from inside the car. I see myself drop my bags and run back towards him to say goodbye, to kiss him and to hug him, but I'm running late and I wonder why he isn't running towards me instead, so I pick up my things and run down the stairs and unto the westbound platform. My shadow lingers for a moment longer at the top of the stairs and I see him drive off into the mist of rain. A blur, a spritz, a shadow and then nothing.

I was too busy feeling angry and rejected. That morning I had placed a mirror between us, so that I wouldn't need to say goodbye, I wouldn't need to see dejection, unless I punched myself in the face to have the bullshit shatter. I deserved it, but my littleness didn't allow me to reach above my knees. So I slammed the door instead, pulled out my bag from the boot and walked away without saying a word.

If three years of life can seem unchanged on a bench at Hyde Park, then three days of life can feel like three lifetimes on a train platform. Mind the gap in logic.

So along with the two ticking clocks, the howling dog and the car roaring somewhere across the valley, I'm left alone with regret tied to me by an umbilical cord. Why didn't I throw my tantrum out the window? Why didn't I allow myself to feel fragile in his arms one last time? No amount of bedsheets I can burry under to feel a warmth like his surround me.

Although...it takes two to make a child. But it takes one to feed it. I'll starve it till it shrivels. I'll starve it till it dies in my cold womb. I'll starve until I don't recognize hunger. I'll starve until I meet a deprivation and depletion quota, until it's too late to sayve anything at all.

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