She woke and wondered if there was any way she could avoid the goodbye, short of running away.
Nothing came to mind.
A huge sinking feeling gnawed at her stomach, her heart was thumping and sweat stood out on her brow. She glanced at the clock. It was 5.00 o clock. In an hour’s time she would have to get up to face it all over again, except this was the end of it. She’d been listening to the church bells ringing. She’d only managed two hours at most. It wasn’t enough. She was too strung out. She needed more but there was no chance of that. Her mind was already churning with questions and answers. They were chasing their tails in an endless cyclone of fears. There was nothing she could do.
Slowly, so as not to disturb her partner who was sleeping so peacefully, she rolled over on to her back and stared at the ceiling, desperately trying to slow everything down. She was jealous of his lack of worries.
She had not wanted the goodbye in the first place. But she’d gone along with it. She’d thought that she could control it, be in charge. But instead of her riding it, it was now riding her. Things were out of control. It was no longer in her hands. She felt like a puppet being blown here and there by circumstances beyond her control. There were no good outcomes for any of them.
She stared up at the ceiling as the patches of darkness swirled in front of her eyes dissolving into phosphine patterns.
All the doubts and fears bubbled away in her head. Whichever way she looked, all she could see was catastrophe.
It had all come to this. Today she was saying goodbye, finito, over. Today was the culmination of it all. Today was when it all came to a head.
Today was the day when she would tell them how it was, defy them to do their worst and walk away with a final wave, a brave face and the acid of defeat.
Today was the end of all her dreams. She knew that. Try as she could there was no good outcome to be found for any of them. She was skewered and she knew it. But it wasn’t all her fault.
She reached over, pressed out a beta-blocker and swigged it down with a gulp of water.
She lay there searching for an alternative. There was none to be found. All her instincts told her to simply stay in bed, plead illness and avoid the confrontation. She could just walk away without having to face her protagonists. But she knew that wouldn’t wash.
She lay in the darkness waiting for the drug to kick in and control her heart-rate. It would take a few minutes. Meanwhile she tried to control her breathing.
She played what was going to happen in her mind, allowing her thoughts to run through every instant of the events that were shortly going to take place.
She felt the drug begin to work and started to regain control over her chaotic thoughts. It was like trying to close the lid on a hopelessly overfilled suitcase. She managed to get it closed but knew that the pressure was threatening to bust the catches and send the contents exploding out.
Dignity. That’s what she told herself, taking a deep breath. Dignity. She would say goodbye and walk away with her head held high. That’s all that mattered. She would not break down. She refused to allow her emotions to better her. Dignity and control.
She allowed her mind to go through every detail, to explore the inevitable. She knew exactly what she was going to do, what she was going to say, and how she was going to hold herself. She rehearsed it in her head.
The alarm went. Her partner stirred. She slipped out of bed to prepare herself for the grand farewell. Some things you cannot run away from. This was one of them.
She showered, dressed and donned the persona she had chosen to fit the occasion. Everything was done with precision. She followed the routine. The routine gave her strength.
She made the tea, boiled an egg and put the toast in the toaster. She took a cup of tea in and placed it on the bedside cabinet for when he came round. He groaned a thank you. It was just another day for him.
Mechanically she drank her tea, ate her egg and crunched her toast, chewing and swallowing like an automaton.
It all went exactly as she had known it would. She faced hostility from all sides. Defiantly she fought. She lost. She walked out exactly as she had visualised in her head.
Stepping into the light she faced the tigerish mob.
‘How does it feel to have betrayed your country?’
‘The people want to know why you have thrown us all into chaos and let us all down so badly?’
‘Haven’t you pitched us into a disastrous Brexit?’
‘Mrs May why are you running away?’