It’s New Year’s Eve, the last seconds of it, and the countdown is beginning. Around me, thrumming through my ears, the numbers start, and I close my eyes.

The new year. A time to put aside the old one, to forget all you were and embrace all you can be. I absentmindedly hook my thumb into my waistband as I watch the fireworks, my posture slumping, my hand warm from residual body heat.

The house blew down last year – Sandra, or Pelemina, or Kerry, something like that. I’m in a neighbourhood I don’t know, pretending to celebrate with people who have only let me into their home through politeness, no real feeling. Jason left after a series of screaming rows about how I’d never change, how I could never improve. I dyed my hair black because I felt like it. I had to change my name after… well, you saw what happened. For my own safety, for my family’s.

What is there left to change for 2013?

I like being someone new. I think I’ll try it again next year.

So I think about the constants.

About my breath, the inhales and exhales still happening

and body heat

and new starts, again and again.

Still here. Still breathing. Still waiting…






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