I look around the wooden table at all the familiar faces. They smile and laugh, I don’t join in but I feel happy knowing they’re present. The sun gives an orange tint to the afternoon, heating up our skin. More people turn up to the Park Cafe and join the table as I glance at my tanned legs. I’m perching on the end of the table when my mum’s friend Lisa arrives with her kids. I work up the courage and nervously ask my friend Fynn, if he wants to go swimming at the river. He says yes and I’m happy. Before we go, Lisa says Tessa, Fynn’s little sister has to come. We nod and get our towels before our walk down the track to the river. Stepping on small stones on our way, our faces light up as we approach. The water is cold and dark when we hop in, Fynn cannonballs into the deep end while I subtly slip in with Tessa.
I rock up the Park Cafe now and the same people that used to be there, aren’t there. They’ve moved on. I sit with the locals, they’re drinking beer and smoking. On the edge of the seat, because I don’t want to smell the revolting smell of cigarettes. It slowly wafts under my nose and I refuse to breathe. After feeling uncomfortable in my seat for long enough, I go to the pizza oven. I small talk with Fynn everytime he comes over to collect a pizza as he now works at the cafe. It’s not the same as it used to be, since I’m older we stay later. Mindlessly I walk around bored, putting a smile on my face when someone I know talks to me even though I don’t want to be here anymore. The locals sit and drink and hardly smile. The sun hides behind a cloud, it’s too cold to go swimming. A deep fear of mine is that I’ll be like that when I’m older because I’ve grown up with it, I stop myself from thinking about this topic as I know I won’t be like that because I’ve resented all my childhood. I’ll be home soon enough.