Physically sitting close to someone, within a couple of millimetres, enough for a spike of invisible tension within my spatial awareness. Well, I felt it. But that’s just the point; only I feel it.

Isn’t it the bloody worst when you’re more into someone than they are into you? Cripes, it is squirmishingly (is that even a word, ha, obviously not as Grammarly has highlighted it), anyhoo it is embarrassing, cringe-worthy, simply: humiliation.

So why continue the facade? To act as though ‘all is well.’ Behaving nonchalantly whilst being ignored, demeaned and discarded? Well, that’s because I can’t handle confrontation, I can’t handle an acknowledgement of another romantic relationship failure. Although I can hardly call it romantic, let alone a ‘relationship’, yup as He said in February; “There is no relationship, it’s all in your head!” How that hurt. It still does. The truth always does.

Sat on the edge of a wet concrete step, dance music throbbing all around, sparkling coloured lights littering the floor. I’d been looking forward to this evening for eight months, since purchasing the pre-sale ticket release, thinking it would be a sweet part birthday gift for Him. The hesitancy in his enthusiasm was noticeable, he appeared uncomfortable sat with me. Why do I choose to overlook his awkwardness? Not only am I sabotaging his happiness, but my own too. Back to the concrete step. I wasn’t aware I was shouting too loudly at Him, in his left ear. That my trying to explain that my not ‘needing’ Him but ‘wanting’ Him was a compliment. Lead balloon. He stood up, stomped away. I ran after him, and he shoved me away and walked off. Walked off into the anamorphic crowd of sounds and bodies.

Physically shunted aside, cast off. Rather than dwell on the fact I’d been man-handled I burst into tears, stood by the communal toilet entrance and cried. Pitiful side-eye from strangers as I continued to weep, dialling His mobile, no answer. I dialled nine times, nine times ignored. I walked out of the club, as the evening show was starting to warm up, headliner acts yet to appear. I felt dejected and wanted to curl up in bed.

I took the hoodie I’d persuaded Him to buy me, a forced souvenir, from around my waist and put it on. Outside it was raining, the night air cold and jarring. I walked back across the City, to the hotel. Bought cheesy chips en-route, junk food to fill my junk emptiness.

Ate the chips, threw off my clubbing outfit, traces of purple body glitter remained on my skin (even the next day). I enveloped myself in a cold cotton sheet and fell asleep.

Slam! Went the hotel room door, followed by a flurry of drunken insults. I pacified, too scared to capitulate, too vulnerable to stand my ground. An hour or two of drunken tears shoves and pushes, no apology, from either of us for our behaviours. A sad confession of “I love you” to Him and then sleep.

Awake, dehydrated, deflated and once again, in denial.

Rookie writer, curious and courageously hopeful