She walked around the apartment, the smell of the freshly painted walls made her feel dizzy. The space was smaller than she had wanted but something felt right when she walked through the doors of the apartment for the first time. There were half opened and some closed boxes of her stuff lying around everywhere. Even though she had only packed essentials, it still seemed like a lot of stuff. She had unpacked the bare necessities to enable her to start living in this new home. Home – the word felt empty as empty as she felt inside.
She spent the day setting up her new living area. A mattress for a sofa covered with her favourite bedsheet that they’d bought together when they had initially started living together. She threw some pillows and a comforter on it to complete the space. Despite having not done much, she felt exhausted. Grabbing a bottle of wine, the half eaten pizza and her laptop, she quickly settled into her new makeshift living area.
Her breath caught in her throat as their photo popped up as the background of her laptop screen. “No, no, no, no tears!”, she said firmly to herself. It was time to accept the changes and move on. She quickly went to settings and picked a neutral background for her laptop screen. She paused for a few seconds as the mouse hovered over apply. She closed her eyes and clicked. Proud at having taken her second step towards the future, her future on her own – she put on her favourite episode of FRIENDS and settled in to re-watch the show that always made her happy.
She checked her phone, ignoring the messages – she looked at the time, it was past 2AM. Since she hadn’t unpacked and set up the bedroom yet, her only option was to sleep in the living room. She got up a little tipsy and switched off all the lights. As darkness set in the room, her insides were suddenly filled with anxiety. The high of the wine and the anxiety mixed together were making her stomach rumble. Her head felt like it was going to explode with all the whirling thoughts inside. “How was she going to manage on her own? She’d not lived alone in 10 years. How would she reach the high shelves without him there to help? How would she change the bulbs? Who would help her decide on what to eat? Who would scold her if she overspent?” Scared she tried to reach the closest switch to her to switch on the lights. As she hit the switch, fairy lights came on outside her window. Surprised, she stood up and walked to the window and opened it. Encircling the windows were golden fairy lights that the old occupants must have left behind. As they twinkled, she noticed the lights of the buildings in the background. The skyline of the city shined brightly with lights coming on & off. Taking it all in, she looked at the sky to find the full moon beaming down at her. It almost felt like she was in a trance. She stood their transfixed for a few minutes. Her mind clearing out all her doubts, she was going to be okay. She had to be okay, she didn’t have a choice. Slowly wiping off her face, she walked back to her makeshift bed for the night and closed her eyes, leaving the lights on.