"Greatness needs courage (above all) and willpower, charisma, intelligence and creativity but it also demands characteristics that we often associate with the least admirable people: reckless risk taking, brutal determination, sexual thrill seeking, brazen showmanship, obsession close to fixation and something approaching insanity. "- Simon Sebag Monteflore
My week is such a long one it feels somewhat like a small lifetime. It is full of cancelled plans and pointless arguments. These things have happened so often before but I got the sense that things were different this time. This was it. There's no going back now.
I call Lucy and for the first time in a long while I am spilling my soul out to her, full of stories of people she doesn't know and the things I can't say to anyone else. Eventually everything comes out in a mess of hot, spiky tears that get caught in my throat. It feels so good to get it all out and I wish so badly that she was here. We've not had a catch up like this in ages and it was strange in ways I can’t easily explain, but it was so sweet to be back in the company of someone who has always had my back. I trust Lucy with my life, she is the one person who knows me like no one else. In the moment I realise how much we've grown since we last saw each other and it makes me cry again, happy tears this time. I'm so lucky to have someone so wonderful in my life. After a while her little brother apparently decides he can't wait any longer and demands I talk to him. It has been so long since I've seen him that I was frightened he'd have forgotten me but his little face lights up the moment he sees me. "Anne! Anne! I've missed you!" He is so grown and he tells me animatedly about his day at school and how much he loves it there. He is no longer a baby, but a little boy who is growing up faster than I could've ever imagined. He is so loved by so many and I hope one day he realises how lucky he is.
In the midst of cancelled plans I make new ones, dedicating time to things I didn't think I had time for. I feel so productive and it inspires me. I spend my days working and my nights creating. Suddenly the story idea I had pushed aside is fought forward and the experiences of this summer have inspired me. I always knew where I was going but had no idea how to get there. I read back old journal entries and write new ones, penning everything from letters I'll never send to what I made for dinner.
My fundraising is going well. We've reached over £2000 and I'm so incredibly happy. But then Fiona emails me to say that because my godfather donated the money from his quiz night through JustGiving, they have taken a cut of about £50. I am a little devastated by that. I understand why they do so of course, I'd just rather pay to use the service monthly or a fixed amount when I sign up, separate from the money I'm trying to fundraise. Then one of my classmates donates unexpectedly and I am taken aback at his kindness. I am touched by the kindness of so many people at the moment.
When I get home there is a message waiting for me from an old friend. She is in town and I haven't seen in her so long. She invites me along with her family to play laser tag. We are on opposite teams but we run around hand-in-hand in the darkness, shooting and hiding and shouting with glee. I've not been here since I was a child and when I'm there I can almost see the ghosts of my former self running around with us. It's a strange feeling, but I feel so young and free. There's a little boy whose gun is so much bigger than he is and I don't know how he's so good at it. but he manages to shoot me multiple times. I feel bad for going after such a little kid and I have a feeling that's his strong point, so in the next round I target him constantly. His cackle turns to giggling as we chase each other mercilessly. An hour later and my team emerge the champions. The little boy, Riley, runs up to me and tells me it's the first time he's ever lost and tells me I'm cool for a girl. I tell him all girls all cool and curious I ask him if he thinks we're as good as boys. His little eyes peer up at me and very solemnly he shakes his head 'No,' he tells me, 'you're better'. I laugh and tell him if he tries really hard he'll be as good as me when he's older,and he grins at me cheekily. 'No, I'll be better'. His confidence makes me laugh, and I'm secretly jealous of his positive outlook.