Today was a Saurday, and I had absolutely nothing to do. With no job, I had no money, and with no car, there was a limited radius as to where I could venture on my travels.
Helaina had a job at the local newsagent, and didn't finish until four, when I would meet her and we would go to her house for the evening. I spent as little time at home as possible, in an effort to avoid my mother and her judging eyes.
When I wasn't with Helaina, I was at the studio, working off frustrations, and working on my final dance piece. I headed off, toast in one hand, kit in the other, to the building that had become my own private sanctuary.
As I wandered toward my destination, head in the clouds as usual, as figure stepped out of a driveway roughly twenty yards from where I was. He seemed harmless enough, carrying a rubbish bag that had to be left out to be collected later on in the week; but something about him made me stop in my tracks.
I felt as though I knew him from somewhere, and as he glanced at me out of the corner of his eyes, I saw why.
His head was covered in scars. They ran from where his shirt ended at the base of his neck, up and over his cheekbones, circled his eyes, and finished up at his hairline. His face was runined.
I watched a mixture of emotions establish themselves; first confusion, for which I could only account for because of my staring at him, then shock and recognition, as he realised who I was. It occurred to me briefly, that he shouldn't know who I was anyway.
Finally, I saw the anger, and it scared the hell out of me. I turned on my heel, and ran as though my life depended on it, and in that moment, I honestly felt it did.
It was early, around 6.30am, and most people in the area were still asleep. The roads were eerily silent but for the pouding of urgent feet as I ran through the suburbs.
I risked a look behind me, and saw that he was gaining the distance between us. I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came. My mouth had run dry. I tried to get my thoughts in order, to try to think of somewhere I could run without getting too tired, and with a reasonable chance of losing this guy.
The first thing that popped into my head; the dance studio. I had the keys, and once I got there, I could lock myself in. My heart jumped into my throat as I realised I was running in the wrong direction.
I stopped as quickly as I could, and began back the way I came as fast as my feet would carry my 5ft 8" athletic frame across the tarmac.
I knew it was dangerous, and that I could be running right into his arms, by pulling a stunt like that, but I felt as though there was no other option.
I had to rely on the fact that my pursuer was concentrating too hard on catching me up to be able to change direction as quickly as I had. I hoped that it had given me a few precious seconds to get back the distance I had lost.