‘You’re graduating?’ Paninder said in disbelief, looking me up and down, ‘In what?’ he couldn’t have sounded any more disgusted. ‘French, international politics and economics’ I said dismissively, hoisting my gigantic rucksack onto my back. He shook his head ‘I thought you were here on work experience.’ Rodrigo started choking into his cup of tea and my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe how rude this gross little man was, did everyone here really think I was just a dumb little blonde? It did give me a great opportunity to prove everyone wrong though, and that I would.
Almost two hours later, having got massively lost trying to find the nearest open tube station* and thus wandering about London in the sweltering heat with a 20kg bag, I was sat on the train at Liverpool Street. We wouldn’t be moving for at least an hour, great so I wouldn’t arrive in Birmingham until midnight at the earliest. I put her headphones in and tried not to get worked up, why did things like this always happen to me? I blamed it on karma, maybe I should finally start trying to be a better person.
I finally crawled into my makeshift bed at 1am and set my alarm for 7am. My head was hurting and I felt grimy. When the alarm went off I was far from ready to get up. I jumped in the shower and got dressed in my new wraparound dress and sandals. It was a beautiful day, 32 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I couldn’t believe I was actually graduating after all of this time. The doorbell rang, it was my parents and Taylor. I had been trying to forget about facing up to that little reality today. They all looked so smart and my parents were beaming. Even he cut a pretty fine picture in his hand maid suit bought cheap in Thailand on one of many voyages. I was in flap, my hair wouldn’t stay straight, I hadn’t eaten and we had to leave. My poor parents would cop the blame as usual as I barked orders and ran about trying to organise myself.
*Following the London tube bombings.