When I’m travelling somewhere on the metro, I always remember how excited you were about me moving abroad.
“The trains are so much nicer there”, you’d insist to me as you sat in your armchair and I sat on the sofa with my fourth mug of coffee. “They’re so clean and tidy”. You talked about how lovely the weather is too, you were right about how sunny and warm it is. Yes, I did remember to bring suncream.
You loved children, and now I’m teaching them. Whenever something happens in class that I would think you’d find funny, or I get complimented, or I have a disaster, it’s still strange knowing I can’t ring you anymore. You always told me it would happen eventually, but the years passed and you were still here. Things change.
It was you who gave me my first taste of Spain. When you used to go on holiday with Grandad and you sent both me and Ieuan a postcard every single day, telling us about the animals and the weather and the food. I still have them. Your handwriting is so much neater than mine.
Your eyes would have lit up with mischief if I could fill you in on everything you’ve missed. Over a month has passed and so much has happened. You would have laughed if I said about the accidental conversation I had with an old man in German in a Basque cafe, and about how Mum and I spent a solid two hours trying to find one bar which I stumbled upon straight away when I returned a week later.
We could have written letters like we did when I moved to Chester. I remember when you gave me a newspaper clipping of a girl just because she looked like me (and by looked like me she had glasses and a fringe). You would have smiled if I added that I’ve met someone here who has glasses and a fringe.
Although I love it here, you sent me an iMessage once that said it was okay to not be around as often “as long as you keep coming back”. I said of course, blissfully unaware of the impact your absence would have.
You said “good choice”, probably knowing that one day you wouldn’t be there, but the memories always would be. I’m still going to bring home another magnet for the fridge.