Robyn's just been dumped.

To be honest she saw it coming, he'd done it before, she just believed it was her lot in life to continually deal with it.

But things are changing, Robyn's opening her eyes and starting to realise that her life isn't as mapped out as she once thought. Fate has something interesting in store for her. But is she ready for it?

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent- Eleanor Roosevelt


2. Changling

He followed her, as she fled her house with her obedient dog behind her. He quickly glanced back at the house, his upper lip raised in an involuntary sneer at the shell of a man she'd been lumbered with up until now. He'd felt it, it was different this time. She wasn't going to take him back when he came. She'd had enough, and maybe, just maybe it'd finally happen.

For he knew what she was, what she was becoming. He'd be drawn to her the minute he'd changed himself, but had had to wait years. Years of her accepting her lot and slowly getting crushed by it's weight. But now, finally, something had changed. The spark was finally ignited and he'd be there when it truly lit up.


Rosie was busy sniffing around a particularly interesting fallen log as I lent against a tree trunk staring at the bright, white, full moon, wondering what I'd done to deserve this.

I know that sounds extremely self-pitying, which is something I tend to avoid with a boyfriend that has enough self-pity for the both of us. Ex-boyfriend. I need to get used to that. Although it's not as painful as I was expecting it to be. 

I look down at myself, faintly surprised that I hadn't had the presence of mind to change out of my waitress uniform. A thin white shirt, black skirt, tights and worn out pumps are hardly conclusive to appropriate outdoor wear. Especially when it's pitch black on a particularly frosty February night. At least I'd remembered my winter jacket, so was unlikely to die of pneumonia, although I'll probably feel a little stiff in the morning.

I'd already decided that I wouldn't go back to the house tonight. I really didn't want to talk to Leo right now. Interestingly, that wasn't completely due to him being a spineless bum who'd just left me, again. It was the comment about needing more in my life. He was right. I craved it. Over the last few months especially, the duties of daily life had started to truly grind me down. I itched for excitement, adventure and romance. All three seriously lacking in my life. I'd stupidly hoped that we would work through it though, as couples are supposed to do. 

That's me: accepting my fate and wondering why it never works out. Now it'd dealt me a non-surprising hand: ditched and alone. Ironic, that I'd booked two weeks off from both my waitressing and secretarial jobs to spend time with Leo and now I'd have to spend the time alone.

It was my deepest and most frightening fear and now it'd happened. I'm not sure why being alone scares me as much as it does. I'm only 18, hardly 'over the hill' by anyone's standards, but ever since I can remember I've always been terrified of being alone in the world. Frequently having dark, disturbing nightmares of dying in a hole somewhere, with no one even knowing I'm missing. Waking up breathless and petrified.  I remember my Dad coming in to hold me when I was little, rocking me back and forth until I stopped my choking sobs. As I grew I realised these dreams weren't going to stop, but I couldn't keep scaring my parents like that. I taught myself to keep my pain contained, my screams became silent and my sobs suffocated by my pillow: nobody I loved would ever witness me in that state again. Leo could probably sleep through a hurricane, my anxious movements didn't even faze him. He hadn't a clue, and I'd never told him.

I knew it was really over this time, for Leo and I. I couldn't go through that again. I'd given it everything, but it was one-sided. Yes, it was over. 

Surprisingly this was quite a relief. It was gratifying to know that I could stop trying to be someone I'm not. Hopefully he'd find someone who satisfied him. Someone with blonde hair instead of my deep reddy-brown. Someone who was TV-slim rather than old-fashioned curvy. Someone who didn't cry at old films and get stupidly excited when it snowed.  I hugged myself protectively. I wasn't all bad, why couldn't he have loved me for me. Why wasn't I enough?

A single tear dropped onto my shoe. I hated to feel so inadequate. To feel like a failure. For the millionth time I wished my parents were within walking distance like they once were; but seeing as they emigrated to Australia just over a year ago I could hardly pop in for a cup of tea. I was debating whether I should even contact them right now, they'd just worry. Better to have a plan in place and then phone them with a positive update.

What was my plan? Leo had always been my plan, my future. Even if it wasn't one I was overly excited about, it was set. Sorted. Safe. It had been that way for the two years we'd been together (on and off). Now everything was up in the air.

Rosie strides over to me, waggling her tail manically, no doubt overjoyed at the late-night exploration. I wish life was that simple for humans.

Suddenly, I'm really angry and my itching back starts to really irritate me. Why? I silently rage. Why can't I have a happy, content life? Why is it a constant struggle? I just want to be free, I want to, to....FLY.

Christ! Where did that come from? I have less than a second to try to analyse my thoughts before I fall to the ground in agony. My itching back is burning. Burning so deep down within me it's suffocating. I'm on fire, I must be. I force myself to roll along the frozen ground, like they teach you in Health and Safety classes, to put the fire out. But it doesn't help, the pain just grows more intense. Exhausted now, I involuntarily arch my back, years of conditioning forcing my screams to be silent so no one will hear me.

Poor Rosie is right beside me, whimpering, probably wondering why her mistress is so distressed. I long to comfort her, to hug her and tell her I'm fine, even though I'm far from it. As getting up is entirely out of the question, I use every ounce of my willpower to lay still and give no indication of the pain I'm in. At least I'm not alone. If I'm going to die though, I don't want to leave Rosie traumatised for life. I know she's only a dog, but I love her and I can see she's visible distraught. 

I lay there, for what seems like hours, resolutely staring at the full moon which seems to pulse in time with the ripples of searing pain that course through my back every few seconds. In between the waves, which thankfully appear to be getting further and further apart as I assume I'm dying, I wonder why the pain appears to be contained to my back. I've never heard of anyone dying of back pain before, maybe I'll be the first.

Suddenly, the pain stops. Thinking this is it, I close my eyes. Pathetically grateful that it's over. But I don't die, or at least I don't think I have. Instead I start to pulse all over. This pulsing isn't painful. Especially in comparison to what I've just experienced. It's just different.

I slowly open my eyes and gasp. Rosie is sitting down, looking at me, panting and wagging her tail excitedly. My left shoe comes away from my foot and narrowly misses her head. I'm hovering 10 feet above the ground.



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