I'm sorry, but goodbye ...

I opened my eyes. How long had I been asleep? I had no idea what was going on on the bus ... by the position of the sky, I'd estimate that I was asleep for what my mother used to called 156 'chapters' of my life.

Everything was just getting too weird for me. I hardly recognised anyone, because they all looked so different. Was there anybody here that I even knew?

Yes - I saw Meggie. Was it my imagination, or had she changed slightly? I ignored that and gathered up my bags, heading towards her.

"I'm sorry, Meggie, but I have to get out of here. I can't cope any more." My hair was messed up from sleeping on the seat all this time and I knew I looked like a stoner: my eyes were so bloodshot and swollen.

"Jenny, you can't go!" she said. "What you planning to do? Abandon me?"

"I'm sorry, but I really ... Sorry ... goodbye ..."

The bus stopped - I don't even know if it was for me - and I headed down the steps.

Before I left I turned and gave Beth a five pound note. Perhaps she deserved more, but I was skint

"Goodbye, Meggie ... I'm sorry ..."

The End

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