Imagine your whole future planned out for you, all safe and secure, nothing unusual, no surprises, same people, same places, same time, for the rest of your life…

Written for the "Might There Be More Then This?" comp.


1. Spark




I live in small town outside London, myself and my family live in a two story bungalow in a row of well kept houses and respected families. I never fight with my parents who never fight with each other; I get on well with my brother. I have a group of friends who always have my back and a boyfriend who is protective and loves me. I went to a good school and got good grades; I’m going to college next year studying a subject that will give me a good job. Our town never sees trouble, it’s quiet and safe.

I’m eighteen; I get up in the morning, eat breakfast and go to work. I work at a small restaurant five minutes away. The most interesting thing that ever happened there was a co worker going into labour early and having to be rushed to hospital. After work I usually hang out with my friends, sometimes we have a girl’s night. Or I hang with my boyfriend, sometimes we go on a date and I sleep-over at his afterwards. I plan on moving into his flat when I start college because it’s nearer and means I can get a lift with him in the mornings. My mom warns me to wait until I’m twenty-three before I marry, I agree with her on that. I’ll be studying teaching in college as my dad recommended and the plan is for me to teach at the primary school I myself went to.


Right now I’m at my boyfriend’s flat.

We roll apart, breathing hard and lay there till our senses return. He leans over and kisses me deeply, then puts his arm around me and falls straight to sleep, his floppy blond hair falling over his face. Half an hour later I’m still awake, I slide from under his arm and climb out of bed, I pull on his shirt taken from the floor where it fell earlier; I pad to the window and open the curtain a gap. The moon is shining down, illuminating the town, I look at it, so neat and well kept, the place I will live for the rest of my life, I think of my boyfriend, the man I will most lightly marry someday and spend the rest of my life with.

I think of these things and feel nothing. I think if my future… and feel nothing.


Yes, I love my family and my boyfriend. Yes, I feel nervous about college, I feel hopeful about getting a raise at work, I fear illness of anyone I care for, and I fear death for any good person but… I rarely feel anything strong… no utter happiness or profound passion…no enthusiasm… no spark. Sometimes I wonder am I living at all. I agree with everyone else’s opinion, I do as I’m told, as I’m expected. If my dad says teaching is a good job, you should be a teacher; I go and train as a teacher. If my boyfriend thinks walking home after eight in the evening in the summertime is too risky and tells me to wait at the restaurant for him to pick me up, I wait. If my mom says the restaurant down the road is looking for a waitress, I go and apply.

Now ask myself, is there more? More to life, out there somewhere, just beyond my grasp? I wonder what I want. What makes my hear beat faster? What do I want to do with my life?


I make a decision. There, in that split second.


I dress quietly, write a note, roll it up and slide it into his loosely clenched hand. I walk the ten minutes to my house. Even this feels dangerous, exciting walking through our safe little town just before twelve midnight. I see no one. Reaching my house I let myself in with my key and tiptoe to my room. A minute later I leave just as quietly. My rucksack over my shoulder I push a note under my parent’s door and another under my brother’s. I walk to the bus stop and wait for the last bus that leaves at quarter past twelve exactly. I decided to go and see what I want in life, I have enough money from working at the restaurant to keep me going for awhile, I’m not sure where I will go yet but I will decide when I want. Then I’m sitting on the bus, passing the sign that signifies the edge of town. I look back once and then turn and look forward. Look towards the future, towards more, towards living m y life.

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