On Saturday I move house. That’s it as far as life in my current abode is concerned; it’s over. No more of Rose’s constant petulant sulks; no more of Legolas’ manipulations and petty tricks. I’m free. It’s odd that, after a year of psychological freedom, I should be back in the state of high tension I was when I lived with my parents: the feeling that you’re constantly treading on eggshells knowing that someone you live with will explode in an inferno of childish temper writ large at the slightest provocation. This year has made me weary in the same way my life in Cambridge always did. Constantly looking over your shoulder, wondering what little trespass is about to set someone off, is tiring on a deep-seated psychological level. As I pack my bags and box my books, I feel like I’m withdrawing from the trenches of the Somme. I’m not just removing myself but also my very presence in the house. The living room is mainly decorated with my bottles and my posters, the kitchen is covered in pictures of Queen cut out of a calendar I bought and the area round my bedroom door is bedecked with my bits and pieces, they’re the first things you see when you walk into the hall. Rose and Legolas probably don’t realise how much of a cancer my presence is downstairs, how bare the house will be without me.

Every day for the past month I have struck the numbers off my calendar with a red pen. Now ten more days in the hell-hole; now five more days ’til I start a new life. Today, I have two days left to go. It’s a blessed relief, looking at that calendar and seeing the days of treading on eggshells slowly dwindling away. On Saturday morning I get to collect my keys and I shall be moving my world down the road, maybe to a better lifestyle where, hopefully, I can relax the way I did in my first year. It’s kind of ironic that I had a better time living with strangers than I did living with a girl who was supposedly my best friend.

Mind you, I see dashes of the old Rose from time to time, like on the study tour at Easter when we were living at closer quarters than ever or sometimes when she’s drunk. I wonder how much of her abuse to me is influenced by Legolas; whether she is really a complete witch or whether she’s been led into behaving that way. It’s hard to tell sometimes and, given how close she is to him, my knowing the truth will probably not allow me to do anything about it.

I doubt I’ll visit them. I doubt I’ll associate myself with Rose at all next year. Together they are so insular that I suspect I won’t even see her at another Sci-Fi Soc meeting. And I know her excuse to everyone will be discomfort with me…


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