It’s my last day at The Office before the operation and who-knows-how-much-time-off. Am lying on my shawl in the little park near work. The panther stretches out next to me, cleaning his shoulder. He rasps his fur with his rough tongue.
When I leave the flat this morning, there are boxes in the hallway and removal men.
“What’s going on?” I say to my neighbour who’s standing there.
“We’re moving out. To a house,” she says.
“Congratulations,” I say, feeling sad because we’ve been at the flats the same length of time. “How long have we been here?”
“Six, seven years,” she says.
“I’ll miss you,” I say. “My neighbours across the garden are moving too and…”
“Are they? I didn’t know that. I’ll keep reading the blog,” she says.
We have a hug. She has a husband now and a baby and it’s time for them to move on.
It’s 28 degrees in the little park but there’s a sense of the last days of summer. Autumn is encroaching: there are conkers on the horse chestnut trees.
This is the last few days before my operation. I’m going to enter hospital, and then leave it a different person with shiny new implants where the expanders have been. Fingers crossed I can leave the panther behind too, and all the sadnesses of what’s been a miserable spring and Summer after my break-up with Seb.
So I think of last days and, hopefully, of new beginnings.
The attached photo is sunlight falling on the canal near The Office this morning on my way to work.
Had better return to my last afternoon of Important Work.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
*2000. By Alice Holman. Detective novel.