If Polly knew anything for sure, it was that she didn’t really have a clue what to do next. There, on top of the hill the university proudly rests, she was sitting with John. It was dark, but the lights of the city around them gave it a familiar and safe feel. The company certainly helped too. It was late. Very late, actually. The last time she looked at her phone, the bright screen cruelly informed her it was after 3am. Neither of them seemed to be in any particular hurry to move, of course. They’d been sitting there for two hours engrossed in conversation. All that Polly knew was that it definitely beat staring at her laptop’s screen until she had almost fallen asleep.
Unfortunately there was something about what was being said, precisely what wasn’t, that Polly felt uncomfortable about. It’d been niggling away at her since they’d sat down. Perhaps it was the half a bottle of wine they’d since drunk, but her hoping that didn’t make it true. “There’s something missing here. Something about you. You’ve not told me something. I don’t know why? I can’t put my finger on it.” She spoke with curiosity, before slumping her head even closer to the grass. “Things are never perfect, right? Sometimes they just don’t work out for you, even when you think they should.” John looked the other way when speaking. When he looked back he saw Polly turn away from him, whose gaze was otherwise fixed on him. “My girlfriend. It’s lonely, but more importantly boring without her.” “Oh…oh, sorry, I, oh nevermind.” “Polly?” “No, sorry, I just thought something wrong. Your girlfriend?”
That curious night two weeks ago John lied. Sort of. He explained all the reasons he stayed up late, but neglected to say what had kept him up that specific night. His girlfriend was doing a placement in America and he had stayed up so that he could talk to her. It was a normal conversation where they talked about normal things. Mostly about how much they missed each other. At any rate, it wasn’t that John didn’t like Polly. He liked her a lot, but he didn’t really realise how things appeared. For Polly something weird and strange yet absolutely completely fantastic had happened to her and she was prepared to run with it, but when she put everything together, it made sense. She knew, strictly speaking, that she wasn’t lied to and admittedly, she thought at points that maybe yes, he did have a girlfriend, but she pushed it aside in blissful optimism. How could someone like that not have someone?
As Polly was getting up off the grass in her sleepy and now not so talkative state, John reached out for her arm to stop her. She looked down at his hand, shrugged it off and then proceeded to walk back. Lonely. Confused. John thought about walking after her, but he didn’t really think he had done anything wrong. He looked at the bottle of wine, to the city and then back to the bottle again, all while shaking his head. He picked himself up, leaned down to grab the bottle, then walked back home, making sure to keep his distance from the company he had.
The lights were still on in Polly’s house. In fact, the door was still open. She’d completely forgotten just how late the party they were hosting was going on for, so when she left with John just over two hours ago, she didn’t really anticipate many people still being left. She was very wrong. The music, while turned down, was still pumping around the house. She had to do her best to not walk over any of the collapsed drunk people, the collapsed tired people, the people playing one of the variety of drinking games she didn’t really care about and a number of glass bottles and pizza boxes before getting to the stairs. They weren’t that much better, but at least all the collapsed people had all lined up on one side. Prepared to simply fall onto her bed and get this now miserable day over and done with, her door was locked. On pressing her ear up against the door, she could make out various grunts and wails. Clearly this was the reward you got for helping to set-up a big party. Of course she tried not to dwell on it for too long, before realising she was far too tired to do or think anything about anything. She put her back to the door and just sank to the ground where her tiredness carried her off to sleep.
“Yo, Polly. You getting up any time soon?” “Soph, err, what? What time is it?” “It’s a fresh 6am.” “Uch. You’re kidding, right? Why the hell are you waking me up now anyhow?!” “Because someone wants you.” “Wha?” Sophie helped her house-mate up and led her downstairs to the door. It seemed like everyone had just about fallen asleep by now, leaving the two hosts and their guest. “I’ll just leave you two alone, shall I?” Sophie left Polly in John’s reach and went back inside to the kitchen where she promptly shook her head, sighed and carried on picking up rubbish from the floor. Of course, that’s what she did immediately. The rest of the time she was looking over to the conversation happening a few metres away and messing with some rubbish pretending to clean up.
“You forgot this.” John raised up the bottle of wine with a grin on his face. “I hope I didn’t say anything to offend you. I didn’t think I did. You just seemed to hurry off all of a sudden.” “No, not at all. I just…I guess I just needed to get back home. To sleep. I’m very tired!” As soon as she finished, Sophie muttered loudly what sounded like ‘Oh come on’. “Oh, good. I just thought I’d said something to upset you. I’m glad everything’s okay.” Yup, everything’s okay.
[To the next entry: Together, Alone]