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HomeFlash Fiction StoriesI'm going to Cairns. I love you.

I'm going to Cairns. I love you.

I find my itchy feet leading me towards adventure, once more.

Life, she laughs at me, especially tonight as I sit at my computer. The machine is a heap of shit. The keys are sticky with age; the keyboard is stained and the space button is missing. Instead of a large friendly space bar, all I have is a small plastic sensor. I've been training my fingers to touch with fair accuracy.

I believe that if you don’t make your decisions then nobody will make them for you. It's better to over-rate yourself. If you, of all people, underestimate yourself then no body else in the world will think otherwise. So tomorrow I am going away. I can hear the rain on the roof and the rattle of the wind. It feels like it's inside my head. It’s high time I got out. I can feel it. Leaving is my religion.

I haven’t planned anything for so long I’ve almost forgotten what a pleasure and a curse it is. Tonight I pack and engage the possibilities. I have a rampant imagination. I embrace it.

I get up early. I eat reason for breakfast and I fight to swallow. It stands out, alongside my raisin toast with orange juice. Mu heavy backpack rests on my shoulders as I close the wooden door

'click'

I feel half-dazed days. As I leave it's a relief to hang hope off one big decision.

Only once in my life have I felt like I belonged. I’ve always glanced over at people with babies or small children and wondered what it is they were hoping for. I fell in love and I admit, at times I imagined our children. I was hopeless. I really, truly, loved him and I don't know why. I'll probably never know.

Worse, I’ll never understand why he didn’t want me. All I have left is the powerful knowledge that he didn’t want me and he couldn't want me and he never would. I heard him say it. That hurt. It's at that moment I believe I learned the art of self-preservation. For the first fifteen minutes after my heart shattering into thousands of pieces, I knew what it might feel like to be an adult, wholly, unequivocally grown.

In the crisp morning air I make my way down the footpath. I blow on my cold hands and keep walking, fighting autumn and her tricks. I don't have a car. I never learned to drive but a part of me has always wanted a car. Right at the moment I want to own an egg-yellow Valiant, replete with an Australian flag on the aerial. Of course I don't have a hope of acquiring one so I continue walking. Loaded and ready to catch a bus.

I have an idea that I’ll use my passport to try for a cheap flight. I think to head for the airport. I haven’t much money. It bothers me. I chew on my lip.

At the airport I buy chips and a coffee. Amid the throng of travelers I feel relaxed and purposeful. I take stock of my funds and the price to get anywhere. With few options I choose Cairns. Cairns is small and unfamiliar with the possibility to head further north if I want. I should have saved more or timed the ending to my current living arrangements better. I can’t afford to go overseas. The flight isn’t for 5 hours and I kick around at the airport.

When I was younger I remember I wanted everything, I was fierce and opinionated, brave and stupid. Passionate. I wished for things with unfaltering certainty and a lot of the time it worked. Where did that little, invincible girl go? Perhaps she just one day let go of my hand and wandered off in her party dress and I didn’t notice until it was too late. Maybe I went about making a series of strange, easy choices with my life and she left. I certainly don’t feel old, maybe she never left. I smile conspiratorially at no one and rearrange my arse in the uncomfortable, polymer bucket seat. I want to be outside.

A man to my left watches me fidgeting. He gets up when I get up and offers me the chance to smoke a cigarette in the wind. I take it. I smoke for something to do but I don’t really taste it. He asks me where I’m going and says I have the look of winter.

He says it's fortunate I’ve chosen to go away. I look at him, unsmiling as he speaks. My brave face, facing his. People are so free and easy with their opinions. This man is no exception. I don’t thank him. He doesn't know me and his advice is wrong, unnecessary. Taxi drivers, old people, aunts, people from the fish and chip shop, buskers, smack addicts, other beggars and my mum. They invariably have something to say about how I look or how I might feel. Maybe I want to look tired. I find it mysterious.

About a half an hour later I'm sucking the cigarette man’s cock. We only talked for a couple of minutes before it occurred to me. It wasn't hard to get to this point. I was blunt and he was pretty sexy. When it comes to casual fucking, you can't go past a toilet cubicle at the airport. I’m doing it for sport, aware that he might try to give me 50 bucks at the end and I’ll feel insulted.

I'm extremely good at cock sucking. It's something I like to do. He thrusts his groin, bucking me with his knees while I work, shoving his cock further and further into my face until he cums with a rusty grunt. It doesn't take long.

After we finish I kiss his lips. His stubbly chin and his smell are unfamiliar. He makes a sound but I don't turn around and it's over. I let myself out of the cubicle before he has the chance to finish buttoning his pants. I buy a Fanta. Three hours have passed. My lips are numb and rubbery. My mouth feels huge and I press my lips together. I buy a newspaper to find out what day of the week it is.

Thursday.

I sit by myself in the lounge. I’m feeling anxious now. There is nothing for me at the other end. I interact badly with people. I curse myself for giving head when I could have just as easily had someone to talk to. The last thing I did with my ex-lover was give him head. He’d gotten up afterwards, is lean, muscular body on display as he walked around my tiny bedroom. After weeks of hiding under the sheets unaware that he was beautiful it felt like a victory and I was so sure he loved me that day. I glowed on the inside, fit to bursting with those three little words that I chose not to say.

I had no idea that he would never feel anything like that for me. I should have listened, he continually reminded me he had nothing to give. The fearless, trusting little girl I used to be got me into this mess. I laugh, alone. An elderly woman nearby shifts in her seat. I wonder if the woman will get up and move away. It's an effort to stop picking my emotional scab. I look up to see my friend with the cigarettes. He acknowledges me coolly and indicates his pocket. I make my way out of the lounge behind him, out onto the street. We smoke, not talking this time. I can hear the wind.

Finally, I board the plane to Cairns. When we disembark the airport is tiny and hot. I buy bananas, bread and peanut butter and the first thing I do is find a place to sit on the pier. There are cafés and restaurants. I sit at a bench to make up my food. It’s getting dark but it’s not cold.

I’m not sure where I’ll stay. The best place to start will be the pub, I don't have much money. I'll find a bar and learn where to look for work in the morning. Using my plastic knife, I smear peanut butter on white bread to make sandwiches. My fingers poke the banana flat to fit in the sandwich. I'm not in a rush. I figure I’ll find my way when I need to.

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