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The opening chapter of Starve.
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He settled himself into the armchair. The carer handed him his tea, and tucked the tartan blanket around him. ‘Thanks.’ He told her, taking a long sip of tea and inevitably choking on its hot taste. She patted his arm. ‘Slow down!’ her voice was light. She was young. Still a child. He nodded, closing his eyes and dozing off. She lifted the cup from his liver spotted hands and patted his arm again.
She supressed the cough. This was an action that would have been out of place in the exam hall of Oxford university. The students around her were absorbed in their work. She felt as if she was a ghost, flickering, and absent in reality. She touched the smooth wood of the desk. It was hard. She was present. She got on with her exam.
Although she hadn’t meant it to be, her journey at first was a rush.
She had laid out her clothes the night before, warming up a porridge cup and feeding the plants, and herself, before leaving the house.
She slid into the car and drove to the station, where people milled about: lost, abandoned and weary.
The announcement boards were mania, heads lifted up to read them and the ever shifting times, trains and towns. She hurried through them and stuffed her ticket into the turnstile.
She lost her loose shoe and had to run back for it. She picked it up and sprinted to the train. Once on the train there was immediately no air to breathe and no room to ease her shoe back onto her foot.
She wasn’t the least bit sporty, but she wore sports bras, tracksuit bottoms and a jacket favoured by football managers.
It was an effort to be girly.
She had previously dressed in baggy men’s shirts and t’s, with loose flowing skirts if she had to leave the flat.
Sports clothes stretched, and they dried easily too when she had to sponge off food spills.