TOGETHER AGAIN



My week is a strange one, consisting of both of incredible highs and unimaginable lows. I wrote about the lovely start to my week here but this week has been an emotional roller-coaster. I am caught in a rut. On the way to school I slip and fall on the ice, whacking the back of my head off the icy concrete. I cry out and even though my head is pounding and my vision is blurry and I can't hear anything, not a single person stops to see if I am okay. I just see them walk on by and I lose a lot of faith in the universe in that moment. After a little while though I can lift my head, and I realise my bagpack was my saviour, stopping me from getting much more than mild concussion and a seriously sore head. My eyes are still watery and it's a mixture of nerves, embarrassment and pain. I get up off the ground and it takes everything in me not to turn back around and just go home and climb into bed. But I am almost late for school and I have a practice exam for English that I don't want to miss and Samantha is 17 and I don't want to miss that either.

I think the prelim went well despite the injury to my brain, Samantha liked her present and I have no real classes for the rest of the day so I take paracetamol and just relax a little bit. Later on I am checking my uni application and I've still not had any more replies but on one of the websites it now says they're no longer accepting deferred entry. I'm annoyed because it didn't say that when I applied and I'm sad that it's now nothing but a wasted choice.


I don't stay down in spirits for long. On Friday a group of our friends decide to throw a party for Samantha at break in the old drama room. This is like the new thing for birthdays. We have dinosaur cake and cans of supermarket cola. I'm laughing because I find it insane that our teacher unquestionably gave us a proper kitchen knife and matches and that just outside the door is a social area with kids who don't have a clue what's happening just a few metres away. Everyone is smiling and it makes my day.


Before the sun rises on Saturday I am on my way. We're driving through to Edinburgh and I'm completely exhausted but also incredibly excited. I'm on my way to London to see my brother and sister in law and arrive just in time for breakfast. They meets us at the station and I top up my Oyster card and get on the tube. If there is one thing I love about London it's the underground. I am absolutely fascinated and completely, madly in love with it.  We get off at his stop and go and get breakfast, catching each other up on all the gossip we've missed. When my brother is with me I feel like I could conquer the world. I am so grateful to have siblings. I dump my stuff at his place and we go to see mum and dad's hotel. Mum wants to go to mass so we head to the cathedral and my brother and I are in near hysterics at one point as we see a woman carrying a statue of the sacred heart that's carrying a mini Union Jack on a silver globe around the church. Flag Jesus becomes another one of our inside jokes because no one else saw it and we cannot imagine how anyone missed something so wonderfully bizarre.


We go for lunch at one of my brother's favourite cafes and mum is worried about her eye. She thinks she might've detached her retina and none of the opticians will check it for her, saying she has to go to the hospital. It's pouring down with rain and we've already done all the touristy stuff before, so mum and dad head to the eye hospital and we head back to the flat and watch Parks and Recreation for a couple of hours. I've been so busy studying lately that having a Saturday to chill out and silence my phone is the most perfectly beautiful thing in the whole world.


On the underground a group of drunk guys get on with a police escort. One of them is trying to make people smile beck at him and I catch eyes with Leah and she makes me laugh, and so for the rest of his journey he keeps spontaneously waving at me.  It takes everything in me to keep a straight face, but when we get off Leah, Luke and I can't help but laugh. We are on our way to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and our food comes in a pig shaped bowl made out of volcanic rock. Mum and I share and we still can't finish it even though it tastes amazing. Despite having been up since 4am I'm surprisingly alert. We go to the sky bar in the hotel and at the end of the night Luke and I decide to go outside. The wind is fierce but the view over London is incredible. I love being this high above a city almost as much as I love travelling beneath it. We make our way home and watch some more Parks and Rec before sleeping.


In the morning we go for breakfast at pret. A cover of Come As You Are (my favourite nirvana song) comes on over the speakers and because it's not Kurt for the first few moments I can't place the song. I do what I always do when I know but can't name a song and point in the air, and the guy behind the till catches my eye. "Nirvana" he says and I nod in realisation, smiling. We get a free latte on the way out. Just for the experience we go to mass in Westminster Abbey. We get to sit in the choir seats and to be honest if the responses of the catholic mass hadn't been changed I would've struggled to tell the difference. After mass we walk around London for a bit and then head off to the National History Museum. I've not been to a proper museum in ages and I have the excitement level of a child. It's so interesting that I wish I could spend longer there. I text Matthew, my friend who really loves all this kind of stuff and he texts back freaking out and telling me facts about the museum. It makes me laugh. Luke has been excited about the earthquake simulator ever since we decided to go there and it doesn't disappoint.


We go for pizza when we're done. It's almost time for us to get the train to the airport, but I'm not too sad because they're coming up to see us at Easter, so it won't be long before I see them again. The plane home is delayed slightly but with tragedy seems to come a sort of camaraderie for Scottish people. Scottish humour is at it's best in these situations. It doesn't feel as special flying into Edinburgh, but I like the drive home. We make it home in the early hours of Monday morning and I sleep for a couple of hours before I have to go to school. They tell us we have 34 days left of school ever, and I start fundraising again. Life is good, but I have assignment write ups and prelims all this week, so it's also pretty stressful. But I know I can do it.


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