It's at work, that I first feel it. A sudden sense of home sickness.
When Cay had to go for work, and I was left by myself for the few hours before afternoon shift, I ended up driving back to my place, I ended up killing time on my laptop. I had opened up my much neglected yahoo page, only to see adverts for London attractions. Suddenly returning to the dreary, conservative, grey mess of a city I called home for most of my life seemed an attractive idea for at least a holiday.
It would get me away from Alex.
It would take me back home. Like home home. Not the apartment I've learnt to call home. Home.
I could even splash out on a fancy hotel and a couple of dinners out with this paycheck I got from that commercial.
And now, at work, I'm slipping into the mini kitchen to "wash up" while I deal with my bout of homesickness. The moment the customer Damien is dealing with wanders off to sit down, (we share nearly all the same shifts), he comes in with a frown on his face.
"What's up, man?" he asks in his familiar American drawl.
"Nothing," I mutter, rinsing out mugs at an inhumanly slow pace.
"Of course," he says incredulously. I can nearly hear him rolling his eyes.
"Just homesick, that's all. It's nothing."
"Oh. You should put up some Union Jack flags in your apartment or something," he laughs and it's my turn to do the eye rolling.
"Seriously?" I turn to glance at him nodding, "I'm homesick, not patriotic. Far from patriotic."
"For shame, dude," he chuckles, "you're s'posed to be proud of your country."
"England? Rainy bog in the ocean? Not really something I'd ever be able to be proud of, personally, but there you go." That fact didn't seem to stop me wanting to wander around London and elbow my way through the crowds on the underground.
When it's finally time to go back to the apartment, I remember with a tiny groan I have to go meet his unbelievably-horny-when-drunk friend Brent at the book shop. Which is fine, as long as they can cope with me being a little bit on the clingy side.
I drive the relatively short distance, park up on the side of the road, annoying several impatient bastards behind me in the process and get out, sighing exasperatedly at my piece of shit car that decided to stall five times while I was trying to park.
Not bothering to lock the shitty car - if someone tries to steal it, I will genuinely be amazed. And happy - I make my way inside, ignoring the "closed" sign.
Cay and the guy I'm guessing is Brent, are in the main part of the store, laughing loudly in between singing The Thespian by Alesana. Cayden notices me first, and turns to me, still singing.
"I touch your lips and stare in your eyes,
You smile and it makes me fly,
You are the reason my heart beats,
Tonight, it's just you and me."
I smile and slip my arm around his waist, reaching up to kiss him, my smile growing more real as he kisses back, despite the booze on his breath.
"Glad you made it, dollface."
"Yeah," I murmur, leaning into him a little, taking comfort from how close he is as I glance at his friend, "hi, Brent."
"So this is the Maxxie I've heard so much about. Nice to meet ya, kid," he grins widely at me and I inwardly groan. Does Cay really talk about me so much?
"I hope all you've heard is good," I laugh slightly, glancing at Cay. He holds up his hands defensively and Brent laughs.
"Surprisingly yes. I've heard nothing but lovesick ramblings from him," he smiles, poking Cay's ribs gently and a small giggle manages to find its way out of my lips.
"So, am I living up to expectations, then?" I ask, in hope that the conversation will take my mind off my random homesickness.