Excuse me

Excuse me.

Are you from around here? I’m looking to go on a nice walk. Can you point me in the right direction?

I’ve seen the Public Footpath signposts, and I know Tourist Information’s just around the corner, but I was hoping to go somewhere off the beaten track.

You know, somewhere only locals know, through word of mouth.

Somewhere that’s not written down in any guidebooks.

Somewhere no one’s ever taken a selfie and shared it to Instagram.

Somewhere I can feel excited to be in on a secret between the nature and the residents living here.

Somewhere that looks like nothing spectacular until you get to the beech tree at the end of the trail and lift back its leaves and – BOOM, a perspective-changing view of an amazing landscape for miles and miles.

I know this area’s capable of that. I can sense it. Does anywhere spring to mind?

I should say, I don’t want to be walking for ages. But then again I want a bit of a challenge.

Look at what I’m wearing – I want to feel that I dressed appropriately for the walk. I don’t want to be sweating buckets before I’m halfway around and have to carry my coat. But on the other hand I don’t want to wish I’d worn another pair of socks because of the cold. I’m only wearing one pair, just so you know.

I don’t want to be scrambling up mountain tops or anything like that. I want the destination to be fairly easy to get to. Not a walk where I’m constantly wondering ‘did she definitely say South South East?’ but one where I only have to remember like three clear directions. The white pebble path, the horse field, and the tree house, for example. A general orientation and a few landmarks are all I want to bear in mind. A walk, not a hike. Difficulty level 5/10.

I need to think a few things over, you see. That’s the whole reason I’m here wanting to walk. I want to figure some stuff out. I want to focus my mind outward while I do that, because that’s how they say people make good decisions.

And God knows I need to make a good decision here. If I were at home I’d just get lazy and not want to change anything, but I’ve come all the way out here to be have a word with myself and be brave, for my own sake.

It’s to do with a guy. I won’t go into it, all I’ll say is... he’s a physical person. He uses his body to... send messages.

He hits me.

You’re the only person who knows this, believe it or not. Isn’t it odd how you can sometimes feel more comfortable opening up to a complete stranger than the people you’re closest to?

All I’ve ever wanted is to make people proud, especially my family. So it would tear me apart if my mum knew, because then she’d know things weren’t going well for me, and she’d stop being proud and start being worried. She deserves to be proud of her only daughter.

Sorry, I said I wasn’t going to go into it.

Back to the walk.

I’m looking to go on a cool little journey that’ll give me the headspace I need to realise that I shouldn’t be with this guy. You might think the walk’s totally irrelevant to me making a decision like that, but it’s not, trust me.

Think about how I’ll feel after a long, pleasant walk by myself in the wilderness. I’ll feel accomplished. I’ll feel like I can do anything.

That’s what I want this walk to do for me.

Think about how I’ll feel after a really exhausting walk where I get lost and bump into all sorts of weirdos on the way. I’ll think I can’t possibly be on my own, and I’ll end up stuck with this guy long-term. Even you, who’s only just met me, must know that would be a terrible thing.

So you see, this walk is a turning point.

So tell me.

Show me.

Help me.


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