As a celebration for recently reaching 10,000 words in my book, and to try and keep getting out of the house more, my husband and I treated ourselves to a day out at the cinema and the shops. However, the only cinema we can get to within the day is in a city just over 100 miles away from our village, so it was going to be a long trip.
We woke up at 5:00 AM and got ready to go out. It was supposed to be 6:00 instead, but I managed to set all the alarms wrong. The first thing I noticed was the thunderous sound of the rain and wind, I wasn’t expecting tropical sunshine in late September but this looked particularly unpleasant. Thankfully for most of the day we avoided the worst of it, and we got the early bus to town. There were no seats left, so we stood, (the first time I’ve ever done so) it was a lot harder to balance than it looked and my arm ached from grabbing the rail, but I liked the challenge and will probably try again some time to see if I get any better at it.
From behind us, we overheard (it was impossible not to, even with earphones in) a man having a very loud phone conversation. It was fairly harmless at first, mostly conspiracy theories and surveilance cameras, but then it took a turn to more ‘adult’ topics. This would’ve been uncomfortable enough on it’s own, but we were on the school bus! He was surrounded by 10 year olds on all sides, I just hope they didn’t understand what he was talking about.
We stopped in the town, and went to another bus. It’s a 2hr 20m journey, so we assumed that we would have some music on and maybe take a nap. A few minutes in though, we heard the same voice from earlier, boasting about the drugs he was on this time. We managed to tune out for a while as the bus filled up with other people, and my husband was lucky enough to fall asleep. I wanted to, but it was far too awkward to sleep with other people all around. For some reason, despite the awful weather and that it was a weekday, it was the busiest bus I’ve ever seen. I asked someone if there was an event on, but there wasn’t, it was just pure bad luck that I’d chosen that day.
Halfway through the journey, the old lady that I’d just spoken to started to notice the loud man as well. By this point he was fully yelling at people and using every swear word that I can think of. As the bus let another person on, she got up, stormed off to the back of the bus and confronted him. Everyone was silent, and a different old lady exchanged a look of understanding with me as we both couldn’t help but watch. The man ended up ignoring her and went back to shouting, and she gave up on it. I probably wouldn’t have even tried, I’d be way too scared to make a fuss, but she must have been a lot braver than me!
The drama wasn’t over on the bus though, as yet another lady fought with the driver for not personally reminding her when to get off, shouting at him and accusing him of forcing her to walk on the main road. Again, everyone sat in awkward silence and didn’t know where to look. Thankfully the train journey next was a lot quieter, and we got to the city, where the shopping and lunch part of the day out was nice and calm.
We narrowly escaped the rain which began just as we got to the cinema. The food there is always many times more expensive than it should be, (£3.50 for a pack of doritos, no I’m not kidding.) So although I felt very guilty doing this, we bought some cheap sweets in a nearby B&M and brought them in. The movie we saw was Free Guy, we both really liked it, and it was a lot better than we expected.
We were pretty tired by this time, and we got the train back to the town. Unfortunately there was only the late bus left to get back to the next stop on our way home. It was around 6:00 PM when we got there so most of the shops were shut, apart from Morrisons and The Range. We had 2 whole hours to wait till the bus, so we had to go around those stores at a glacial pace, closely examining every product just to spend time, I’m sure the employees must’ve thought we were very strange.
After what felt like an age, we got the late bus, thankfully it wasn’t busy anymore. However 3 seperate times kids came on with the most pungent weed odor I’ve ever smelled, which gave me a tremendous migraine. One of them sprawled himself out so far in a daze that he blocked the whole aisle.
Once we managed to escape from the marijuana smell, we tried to get a taxi back to our village. Being a normal Thursday, I thought there would be no problem. But for some reason, every single person in the town had gone out to the pub, and there would be no taxis till 1:00 in the morning. That meant another 2 hours before we could go home. We phoned round every hotel and bnb nearby, but at 11 at night, understandably there were no rooms.
This was absolutely not the ending I had planned for our celebration day out, but there was nothing that could be done about it, so we settled in a little corner outside a Tesco, where they had left a light on inside, and waited. We decided to kill time by getting some food, there was just one takeaway that was still open at this time. We went in, and immediately saw one of my estranged relatives blackout drunk with his girlfriend taking care of him. It was very awkward and and embarrassing and I didn’t know if I should say hello. I did, but he was so completely steaming he couldn’t even speak, honestly I don’t think he heard anything. As they left, it took him a good few minutes to actually get through the door. He swung on it; shut it, opened it again, stumbled around, all while his girlfriend tried to help, but she was almost as hammered as he was.
We had managed to avoid the worst of the weather all day, but the very minute we left the takeaway we were pelted with torrential rain, soaking through our cardboard pizza box and our paper shopping bag, which burst and spilled our shopping out onto the wet pavement. We ran back to our dry Tesco corner to calm down. By this time, I just wanted to go home, I could feel anxiety rising up yet there was still nothing we could do about it. We ate our cold, wet, but still delicious pizza, and waited for the rain to stop.
It didn’t. Desperate, we went back to the taxi office again to double check, but still nothing. Just to make things worse, I needed the bathroom and there was still a whole hour left to wait. Everything was shut, so there was only one option. The 24 hour toilet. It really is a loo out of a nightmare, having everything that you don’t want in a toilet; vulgar graffiti all over, spider eggs and webs, cigarette butts dumped on the floor, no soap or even a sink, and a sticky floor. It’s an experience I’d like to forget, and it took 3 showers before I felt clean again.
We heard shouting and commotion from down the street, it was easy to hear since by this time of night almost nobody was around. We had nothing better to do so we subtly walked past to see what was going on, and it was my relative and his girlfriend from the takeaway with some of their friends. From a distance I couldn’t tell if they were laughing or crying. As we got closer though it was definitely a woman scream-crying, she was yelling about my relative cheating on her the whole time they’d been together. She dumped him.
Not wanting to intrude anymore, we turned back and left, but suddenly there was a whopping great thud. She had belted him, and he stumbled into a shop window while their friends pulled her away. Before my mouth could open in shock his mates bundled him into their car and it was done. Only 20 minutes ago they had been all over each other in the restaurant, and now this. I don’t know what happened in that time, and honestly it’s none of my business, but I can’t help but wonder.
By now a taxi was available, as we waited, we saw the relative still falling all about the place, he must have escaped the car somehow. I was incredulous that he hadn’t had enough for the night yet, but thankfully his friends drove by and collected him again. The girlfriend was also still walking around, shouting to her friend about what a ‘thing’ her ex-boyfriend was. Honestly I hadn’t actually seen this relative in a few years, and I couldn’t believe I had managed to pick a day to go out that had so much drama involved. I’m not sure how I’ll ever look him in the eye if we see him again.
Finally the taxi came, we were so grateful, and we shivered from the cold the whole way, soaked through to the skin. By the time we got home our lips were blue and our hands had lost their blood. Perhaps, I thought, some of today’s silly events could loosely inspire something to write about. We walked through to the kitchen for a midnight snack before bed, it had been a fun day, and certainly not a boring one. I actually felt like having a day out like this again soon as long as there would be the same level of excitement.
But then I saw, this.
Oh. I take it all back. I don’t want excitement anymore.