Sunday night bleeds into Monday morning, as I reach the station a half hour early in an attempt to instigate some cosmic positivity, only discover the only train 20 minutes further delayed from its regular time.
It doesn't matter I think, settling down with a coffee that burns my tongue as I sink into a chair in the station coffee shop for my wait, watching commuters wade defiantly through the fog that shrouds and sighs against the windows.
It's fine I think with a forced smile as the station post service won't accept the letters I'd spent all night writing.
It'll be okay I think, as I finally switch on my phone after plague-like avoidance over the weekend, to find a barrage of messages from my frustrated boss.
The mist clings instantly to my skin when I leave to catch the train, begging for my attention, trying to restrain me with a grip without purchase. As the train doors bleep to signify their imminent closure, I turn and watch the mist eye me warily before retracting back into the chill. As the doors slide shut, I see it, still watching me on the platform. We'll wait for you on the other side, it says as the train creaks and rattles away from the platform.
In less than 24 hours, I've undertaken the dance between two cities which sits with overbearing immobility on my heart and mind. It's funny how when I sat down with her two weeks ago, in the warmth of a pub in the innocent middleground, I'd said it's weird though, this feels like so much more than just choosing where to live. Little did I know just how soon the charade would come crashing down.
Two cities, two lives, two futures, and two lovers I can't love.
Neither feels like home, and sanctuary is far from anything I've felt lately, for the middleground is the only thing worse than choosing. In the tale of two cities and a town, the eventuality is obvious. But both come with their own bittersweet comfort in the form of someone I love, but just not enough and not in the right way. This was never a choice between two men, for neither could I love in the way they need me to. Yet they are my closest friends. To lose them would be to save them, but kill me. To keep them would be to save me and kill them.
I thought I finally had it all figured out, but truthfully I was a fool to think this could all continue, and it wouldn't mean sacrifice. We can still make it as friends, right? Surely something is better than nothing? I'd finally decided which city was best, not around the person inhabiting it, but on what was right for my mind, my future, my happiness. That was the right thing to do, no?
Little did I know, that choice not only killed the other, but turned the samecity away from me too. You've made your choice, then, one said as I cried out in protest, and Don't come here if you won't love me. The other hadn't said, but I knew that was what he meant.
I'd stood on the shoulders of the middleground, holding in either hand the possibility of two future trajectories, and my responsibility was to choose between two lives whilst remaining impervious to, yet considerate of, who resided within each of them. I'd made the choice not for love, for ease or for loyalty, but for what felt right - what my heart was telling me was where I should be, for me.
And in doing so, I'd lost everything and I'd killed them both.
So slowly now I climb back down alone, apologise to the middleground that I ever thought I was worth anything better, and cradling the burning coffee in my icy hands, rattle on into the mist which presses on all sides, waiting for me on the other side.