May 5th 2012

by Katie Henderson

A St Andrews alumna originally from the North East, Katie currently works in publishing and tries to learn a new thing every day.  She is in the process of writing her first novel, set in a war-torn world where technology and real life are more closely enmeshed than every before - with deadly results. 

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Shrug. Arms raised to the sky. Not a care in the world! I have money to spend and I will travel the world, stay in 5-star hotels and eat out at fancy restaurants. Look at me, the Graduate! Look how happy I am!

This photograph is a lie.

My partner, a Berlin bear, is raising her arms too. She shines a brilliant gold, and it looks like she is crying cobalt tears. She is crying for me, because I cannot.

In two days, I must go home. Back to where one week slides into the next. Where two jumpers hang from my wardrobe doors, bought a month ago and not worn once. I have nowhere to wear them, no-one to wear them for. Hours trickle by on job sites, job applications.  I become hard, selfish, afraid to feel, afraid of everything. I dream little pipe dreams of potential futures to counteract the little deaths of hope that each rejection brings. I agonise over spending £2.99 on a nail polish.

Ashamed of my failings, I become my own prisoner, stuck in the eternal present and longing for the past.

But for now, a brief respite. For these two days, at least, I am happy. I feel solvent. I am free.

Shrug. Arms raised to the sky in supplication. Give me a chance to prove myself. Please.