London is a city I never knew. I had fantastical notions of what it was like, but I wouldn’t find out until I was sixteen. I looked longingly at the men who passed me by, in their Savile Row suits, perfumed with Arabian musk. You could say that London and I had an arrangement. I would come to see him when things worked out. He would show me his secrets, and I would show him affection. I let my hair down in the hidden clubs of Leicester Square, bathing us in blueberry lights. I had my first taste of whiskey in London, Jack Daniels, to be specific. I stayed in South Kensington on one visit, which was likely one of the fanciest places I have seen. There was a French patisserie on the corner, all indulgence and Bavarian cream. My hopes were like shadows passing through centuries of lamplit alleyways. There were Dickensian bookshops that stocked every rare book you could think of. I believe I was born as a star and fell in the wrong place. London and I have a complicated relationship, but aside from hedonistic endeavours, it is where I can genuinely be myself. I will never forget standing outside a club in Soho, blowing smoke away, watching the moon turn blue, praying that he would save me.
Published by Courtenay's Corner
Courtenay Schembri Gray is a writer from the North of England. She is 1/4 Maltese, and happened to find herself hit by a car when she was eleven. You’ll find her work in an array of journals such as A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, Rejection Letters, Hobart, Bath Flash Fiction, and many more. She will often post on her blog: www.courtenayscorner.com Twitter: @courtenaywrites Instagram: @courtenaywrites View all posts by Courtenay's Corner