Polly tried to avoid fuss, despite her uncanny ability to be at the centre of it. She tried, in as many ways as possible. Her methods varied as to the severity of the fuss. In this predicament, emotional dissonance was not what was necessary; after cajoling her willing parents, she moved to the house that would be occupying her for the next step at university. Polly wasn’t stupid enough to miss the opportunity to see her friends during the break, but she did know when they were all off travelling on their holiday, so what was there for her to lose? It wasn’t that she disliked her parents though, far from it, but it was the desire for space. Which she got. Also silence. Lots of that.
It was a warm summer, that rarest of seasons in English weather. She was alone in a house built for four and she would be for a few more weeks. It was an opportunity to go and do something, with absolutely nothing or no-one holding her back. So she stayed in, enjoying the rare sunshine from the comfort of her barely broken in new home. The silence which she craved, however, steadily began to drive her a different sort of crazy. The odd pinging of a sound would make her drop her book and explore the house, loudly calling out to anyone there, despite the fact that if there was it was unlikely that they would be responding in a manner that would be welcoming of her presence. Regardless, each occasional sound turned out to be the result of something going on from one of the houses at each side, or one of the taps not properly being turned off, or the fridge making that weird gurgling sound that fridges somehow manage to produce. It was a near endless list of distractions that struck immense, momentary fear into her heart.
After several days consisting a couple of books downed, various shows cleared from her backlog and even the flirting desire to re-install The Sims 2 on her laptop, she abandoned her idea to stay in and decided to look for something to do. There was nothing. Well, there was plenty, just nothing that interested her. The things that did required more than herself. She looked round the room at her clock and at least was able to appreciate the forty-nine minutes spent looking up potential things to do. She rocked her chair back and forth, trying to think of what her next move would be.
Several hours of her digital family being managed, she noticed the time and her debilitating need for food, pausing the game as to see what dull food she would prepare for herself. By the early hours of the warm, dark night, the plate formerly holding several small handfuls of pasta drowned in tomato sauce with a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese on top was to the side of her tapping foot. This same foot that was attached to a near motionless body, apart from said tapping foot, the gentle wrist movements to control the mouse and the occasional head moving to accompany a yawn. As the sun started to make its new approach, she turned off her digital family, lazily made her way to the bathroom and motivated herself enough to brush her teeth, slink back to her room and then collapse onto her bed, summoning one final burst of energy to turn her radio on. There was not enough energy left to change the station to one she preferred.
This continued for days, as she had no real incentive to do anything else. Every so often, she’d consider whether or not she’d made the right choice in deciding to come back to uni so early during the holiday, but it was a fleeting thought, removed by the fact that she’d already made the choice and it couldn’t be undone. She phoned up her parents every few days, but nothing of note had occurred to drive the conversations, or to give her some sort of need to come back home and selfishly break the tedium. There were some pictures to comment on Facebook, of her friends who went on holiday and were having an adventure. These comments took little time to write, however.
In fact, Polly’s greatest excitement came from walking into and around town, window shopping for any nice looking clothes and accessories, particularly bracelets, before retreating to the safety of a nearby supermarket to pick-up a week’s supply of food to keep her sustained. The shopping list was not too exciting, consisting of the mostly the same items that were on the previous list and were to be on the one following. She paid an amount that seemed about right for what she was getting, varying each week only by which packet of biscuits tickled her fancy. This week it was milk chocolate digestives, breaking the last three-week-trend of rich tea vanilla sandwiches. She looked at her bags, realised the time it would take to walk home and, making the same decision she’d made the week before that, walked clumsily to the bus stop and waited for the same bus that would take her back home.
It was a boring period of time. There was nothing of importance or urgency to attend to, nothing out of the ordinary that struck her interest or attention and, most importantly, no-one to interact with on a level other than smiling at the neighbours when making any necessary out-door trips. The fuss was a now realised necessary component to her day. It would still be quite some days until any potential fuss would be with her in the still empty, still quiet, still occasionally terrifying house.
[To the next entry: Starter Question For Two]