My first month at 27 was perhaps the most uncomfortable of all and also the final of my two years in Barcelona. I see it now as a fork in the road leading me onto a totally different path, albeit one that ran parallel to my past, but one that would be different this time- that would take me where I needed to go.
The humidity was constantly wrapped around me in a balmy shroud, its sticky breath on my neck. I had quit my job to spend my last weeks with my soon to be ex-boyfriend, a stab at quality time after months of snatching a poor handful of hours on Sundays- however, was he anywhere to be seen? Of course, there were more important things than me once again and so I found myself with long, hazy days of my own company stretching ahead and that ever gnawing sense of disappointment.
I sat writing in the company of stray cats in the shade of the beautifully deserted Poble Nou Cemetery, I went for long, winding walks in the old Jewish quarter of the city and spent mornings drinking coffee and smiling shyly at a boy I so longed to kiss because he seemed to be the only person in the world that noticed me, a feeling that I thrived on. A cold juice and wander at La Boqueria always restored my better senses and I would take long, restless naps in the coolest nook of my flat, squirming against the stone wall to try and abate my rising temperature and hide from the soaring blue sky and blazing sun.
Despite the heat, the city was my dearest friend at this time and so when the time finally rolled around to leave, I was heartbroken, in more ways than I can describe. Utterly defeated. I cried gently as I said goodbye to the boy who had forgotten how to love anyone, even himself, and sobbed hard on the flight until I fell into a slumber. When I awoke, the plane was just touching down. Stepping off the craft, the familiar, cold air of England greeted me and the sky was heavy hung with clouds. It was home but not a home I knew anymore. It felt like an old friend that looked the same but had dramatically changed inside. "This will take some getting used to" I muttered to myself, but little was I to know how very long it would be before I found home again.