It’s Saturday night and you’ve got nothing to do. You are feeling restless. You wish you could take an unplanned trip with your best friend, in London. Sadly, that can’t happen because she’s moved back home now. What to do? Maybe a walk by the Thames would help your hazy mind. You get out of your flat in Kingston and just wander around the nearby roads heading towards the river.
It’s 11:30 PM and you have been walking for 15 minutes and seen just about everything there is to see. You don’t want to go home though; somehow you end up on Brook Street. You pause for a second and look around. You really do not want to go home, however, you haven’t got your cards and the phone is in ultra power saving mode as it has got only 20% of its battery left.
The 85 to Putney Bridge is just a couple of minutes away. You could go and visit your old neighbourhood. As you anxiously wait for everyone to board the bus you hope that the contactless on your phone still works.
Tap. Green light shows. That was the challenge of the night, you think.
You cannot listen to music on your phone as you don’t want your battery to die, instead, all you can hear are the bus stops. Those names you hear every day on your journey to work.
Robin Hood Lane.
Can you pass these already and get closer to Putney?
After 20 minutes you reach Putney Bridge. Oh, the countless nights you and her used to spend just walking around that little bridge. Walking on the Underground bridge was even more exciting. You could feel a slight adrenaline rush building up as the trains were approaching you and passing by.
It’s quite cold outside and you didn’t really dress for the occasion, you must admit. However, you continue your journey through the streets. The dimly illuminated streets bring out the ice that’s set on the road. The cars seem to be transpiring. It all looks a bit intimidating. As you walk down the road you encounter three people. One of them is laying on the ground as the other two try to help him get up.
“Come on mate, don’t make a fool out of yourself!”
Oh, Saturday nights.
You are getting closer to your old flat. The trips you used to take down this road to the shops with her. The countless nights out and about. The way you two used to take the bins out, and how in all those years you were putting them about 200 feet away from your flat as you didn’t have a bin of your own? Those last erratic days when both of you were walking down the road with the rubbish you’ve accumulated in three years of living in there.
The weather perfectly describes how you feel inside. Everything is calm. Chilly, but otherwise, calm. All those restaurants you used to pass by and peak in with her are now closed. You can still spot a person or two in the ones that have a bar, downing their last drinks.
Woodborough Road. The stop you two used to get off if you were coming from Putney. Those late night trips to McDonald’s to get some food for your film night in. Horror films were the best. The two of you getting frightened and at times judging the lame effects that some of them used. Highly comical indeed.
You are quickly approaching the little entrance to your old flat.
353 Upper Richmond Road.
It looks the same as it did when you left it, except now you have a big Tesco next door. That would have been useful a few years ago! Sparing you those trips all the way to Putney High Street.
The bench is still in front of the flat. Oh, that bench! The memories. Who would have thought that one day you would just get locked outside the flat because you both were rushing to get to Asda? Then you both freaked out because it was about 12 at night and you couldn’t just call the agency to give you the spare keys. A middle-aged man must have overheard your anxious conversation and began talking to you. He came up with the idea of climbing up the roof as one of the windows was open. After the deed was done, he told you that he used to break into people’s houses when he was younger. The trip to Asda wasn’t peaceful at all as you kept on thinking that the man might come and break into our flat at any point. Thankfully, that never happened.
Or what about that time when you were celebrating her last days in London and you decided to throw a little party that got slightly out of hand? Of course, you all decided to go outside at some point and only one of you had the keys to the flat. Turns out she had to stay at the police station for a few hours meanwhile you had to sit “patiently” on the bench with two highly intoxicated teenagers. You felt like a mother at that point; undeniably very amusing.
You take a deep breath and just take in all of the memories. You sit on the bench for a while taking it all in. All that there was and all that there could have been.
It is getting quite late and you are beginning to feel tired. You start walking towards Dover House Road. The journey you used to take every time you had to go to university. Those dull moments when you were questioning if £9k a year is really worth it all. Well, there were happy times too, when the weather would be super nice and you’ve just found out you got a first for some of your assignments. It wasn’t all bleak and sad. A roller-coaster much; just like your life.
It feels like your body is telling you it’s time for you to go home and rest. You walk until the Elmshaw Road bus stop. The one you used to get off when you would wake up too late to walk all the way to the university. The bus is due in a few minutes and everything is peaceful and calm. Not one car to be spotted on the long road.
You get on the bus and wave goodbye to your memories, until next time…