This Time I'm Ready To Run.

Familiar Yet So Foreign

“You okay?”

“I think so.”

Everythings the same. Nothing’s changed.

Except for the people.

I look around the familiar airport which looks as lively and as clean as I remember. I remember the time where I arrived, the little 6 year old me, and the place that I left at the age of 18.

I look over to my right to see the same snack machine, looking more old and used. I remember the time where I wanted a snickers bar, mum wouldn’t let me as it was getting late and she didn’t want me to get hyper. I didn’t even know that I still had that memory.

I look in front of me, to a sea of all different types of people, except I’m not small anymore so it’s less intimidating. I remember looking around the foreign place, knowing that this was new my home.

At that time I thought it’d be forever.

I remember dad holding my hand that I was clenching onto all those years ago. Except now it’s Harry’s hand.

I killed my brother here.

I’m a murderer.

I try to subside the dark and guilty thoughts. But it’s hard considering this was my not-so-homely-home.

I remember entering the large building that I’m in now, knowing that I was being set free. The day I moved, a few years back. I never told my parents. I mean, my dad was on a business trip so it was hard to tell him.

I remember the guilt I felt. Knowing that I’m a criminal, needing to be trapped forever. Yet I was too selfish for that to stop me. I am too selfish.

“C-can we go over to the machine?” I ask, still in my own little universe. My heart feels weak, heavy, sad, guilty. I feel like I’m going to throw up.

My eyes flicker back to a time where I was still young, with a bright future ahead of me.

I lead Harry through the foreign crowd as I start to see the sparkling floor that I once saw years ago. All at once, I remember my mother’s voice. “We’ll come back another day,” she told me. She was right next to the vending machine that day, in her favourite dress, flowing in the air. I remember her soft, amazing smile.

I try to wash away the tears. I see a Snickers bar in the showcase. Maybe this is the day where I come back. Harry, without saying a word passes me the money. As I move my hand over to put the money in, I freeze, as memories come flooding back.

“Sorry, maybe another day, we need to get to our new home!” my mother’s voice flickers in my mind.

“You can choose your room,”

“You’re a fucking monst-”

I cut off my thoughts, clenching my eyes shut, wishing for something to had of changed. I then feel Harry’s hand on my back, bringing me back to the present time.

I stare at the snicker bar fall down the machine. I take the snickers from the flap at the bottom.

“Harry,” I whisper, turning to his calming face. I realise that I haven’t been breathing, as I feel my chest rising to fill everything back up with air. “Talk, anything, please,” I say to him, keeping it as brief as anything, forgetting how to form full sentences.

Maybe if I’m brought back to the present time with Harry’s voice, then maybe I won’t have to remember the time where I felt most trapped.

“Are you okay?” He asks. I nod, keeping it brief for him to carry on speaking. As he thinks of something to say, I stop in my tracks as I see the cafe my dad and I always used to go to. I worked there for a little while. I remember we became pretty well known in there. “We’ve got all day, love, don’t rush things.” He says, giving me slight comfort.

I nod again as I lead him into the cafe.

“Leanne?”

“Luna?”

“Luna?” Harry asks, very confused. I would be too.

I face Harry’s confused face. “I’ll explain later, promise,” I whisper into his ear. He nods, accepting the fact that I haven’t told him as this is personal. I also don’t know how to tell him, but it’s necessary for him to know.

“Where have you been? Your dad was looking everywhere for you!” She says, embracing me in the most precious hug.

“I had to get out, Hannah.” I say. She nods, taking me into another warm hug. “You still look as young as you did before.” I smile, looking at her beautiful features. Her smile hasn’t changed, her lips are as small and plump as before. Her eyes were still the blue of every dancing sky, illuminating the ocean waves on a summer evening. I see her perfect skin with small acne scars on it, and her thin brown eyebrows with her shoulder-length, dirty blonde hair with brunette roots.

She hasn’t changed.

I look around the cafe. It hasn’t changed either. I still smell the scent of the coffee from behind the counter.

I still remember the table my dad and I used to sit at. It’s now being used by a small, blonde child and her father, as I remember the old memories.

“You’ve got your drink in your beard, dad”

“I’m just saving it for later, little one.”

I feel slightly replaced. I remember everyone used to ask me for my cappuccinos when I still worked here.

“Hey, Luna!”

“Hey, Jamie. I love that new hairstyle!”

“Thanks, just wanted a switch up,”

“Fancy! You want your usual?”

“If you can, Luna!”

It still puts a smile on my face.

It’s as quiet as it was before. It was small and somewhat unpopular. Some new faces would pop up but overall there had loads of familiar faces who would come in to order their favourite pastries, cakes and drinks.

I used to work here from 16-18. The house became too toxic to remotely stay there all day, so I got a job here.

“So what’s a girl like you doing with this famous person? He’s Harry, right?” She asks, looking at Harry whilst her hands are crossed with her eyebrows raised. I forgot that people would know his name.

Harry smiles awkwardly and shakes her hands. “I’m Harry,” he says.

“You better treat her right or your career will be over,” she jokes. I know she’s serious as she’s very protective, like a big sister. But, I know she wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“I’ll try my best,” Harry smirks, wrapping his arm around my waist, making my stomach dance. I’ve just realised I still have his cardigan on. Oh well.

“Leanne,” She introduced herself. “I was planning on getting tickets for tonight but they got sold out. Heard you were pretty cool.” She says, with a smile on her face.

“I’d like to think I’m cool,” He says, looking offended. What a drama queen. “You can go tonight if you want,” He smiles at her. “I would be genuinely killed if I allowed you to be in the crowd but, you can be backstage. One time thing,” He says.

“Really? You sure? I can always just do it next y-”

“Leanne, it’s fine,” I smile, taking her hand. I look down at our hands and see a ring on her finger. “Don’t tell me it’s Jacob,” I say, slightly packed for her. Jacob is on and off with Lea. They always take it for granted that they’ll be the same. I called out that he shouldn’t be trusted. They kept on saying it was true love.

As I always say, the candle always burns out.

“God no!” She gags. She looks at her wedding ring with pride. “Nick,” She says whilst the gem on her finger is twinkling like a star “Nicholas Gray.”

I sigh, relieved that it’s not Jacob. “Well, I need to get back to work,” She hands me her number already returning behind the counter. “Message me when you can,” She smiles.

“Bye Lea!”

“Bye, Luna!”

When I get back, I’ve got a lot of explaining to do.

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