by Kate Oliver

Standing now at the turn of the landing which beckons me down, I feel the vastness of it all. A shock which comes from a life lived in tiny castles.

Caressing the curvature of the bannister, I move towards the kitchen drowned in razor sharp light, each beam cutting me ragged. The worktops confront me with shadows of dances as ramshackle as our shelves, forever scattering spices across the marble tops and into our veins.

I remember our first sieges.

Doors that creaked, walls tainted with happiness that came before us and floors that stuck with last nights mistakes. Endured in a mindless faith to each other with the promise of room to grow.

The early pictures taken of grins and good sides hang proudly in a space ten times bigger than they belong, and I’m taunted by the faint smell of a candle that burned before it could ever really fill the air.

I rest a while in the white place, that we have never quite got right. ‘Functional yet elegant’ they called it, but those first drops of blood stained everything. We had too much space to let us move on.

It was the fifth key in my clammy hand that changed us. Staring through the lock to see whether our stories could be compatible with the smoothed edges. Whether our memories could fit neatly into new corners we couldn’t see.

A half squeezed toothpaste, a greedy pot of jam trapped in its own blood. The Saturn rings of uniform mugs grasped at 2am.

It took 12 walls to build, and the demolition of one to break.

Bigger is better they said.

I wish we had stayed small forever.


Kate Oliver | @KaoliverOliver

Kate Oliver is a twenty-something living in north London, but constantly pining for the actual North. She works in the charity sector advocating for the right of charities to speak up and campaign, and helps smaller organisations develop their social impact goals. She can be found commenting on mostly everything at @KaoliverOliver.

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