take care

suki and lyle left today.

in a frenzy of suitcases, papers and tears, they stepped onto the coach that would take them back and away from myself and my family, into new cities,  lands and new stages of their lives. tear-stained and weary, i waved them goodbye as they left to move on.

then i woke up and realised i would have to do it all again.

the days had passed too quickly before my very own myopic eyes. it seemed suki had only moved in yesterday. and lyle just a second ago. he’d only been living with us for about- what, a week? – and here he was, packing up already. formerly messy rooms were starting to regain a sense of order, but not in any good way. suki’s cosmetics and various toiletries no longer invaded our bathroom. lyle’s perpetually unmade bed lay perfect. yet in the midst of all this change, the two were as casual as ever. lyle chatted on the phone whilst brushing his teeth. suki watched some asian drama or something. they had brunch. and i had an urge to scream, no, don’t go yet, please, we have so much more to do, and cling onto their legs. either that or drug them and imprison them in our (non-exsistent) basement. so i watched and waited for that final car journey to make its arrival.

it’s such a shame. we could have done so, so much more. i only really started talking with suki and lyle 3, maybe 4 days ago, and i don’t know why. we just seemed to open up so much more easily. i joked around with suki, and i found out that lyle was into a ton of bands i like as well. we snarked and laughed together, and if  only, if only i had taken my opportunities earlier, we could have spent more time together, while they were still in this city. as i type this, they’re probably on their way to london, in some ratty old coach. but i don’t know if they’re missing us.

so this morning we clambered into a packed car with a boot full of suitcases and set off for those final goodbyes. my heart had been in my throat the whole day – that lump just kept stabbing. i might be a cold, soulless demon child before, but i was pretty much on the verge of tears. i couldn’t get myself out of bed, let alone into that car. my mother even thought i wasn’t coming, which shocked me. how could i not go? i love suki and lyle. i love them and i cherish everything i did with them, and yet i cannot let them go. they talked nonchalantly about customs, about packages they had sent, as if this was no big deal for anybody. i stared out of the window and tried my best not to cry.

eventually we had to arrive. i offered to help them carry suitcases, to do whatever i could to delay their departure from us. but that final moment just came too quickly. i thought it would be like prolonged torture, but it was more like prolonged torture leading up to a little pinch on the arm. there were no tears. no great gestures of emotion. hardly anything.

“see you soon.”

“i’ll come and visit you sometime, yeah?”

“take care.”

 

backstop diaries – miki talks rounders

ah, rounders. that time honoured sport, loved by all, played by british schoolgirls everywhere. played all over the world, famous as its…

wait, what?

no one knows what it is?

let me explain.

wikipedia says rounders is a ” bat-and-ball game played between two teams. Rounders is a striking and fielding team game that involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a rounded end wooden, plastic or metal bat. The players score by running around the four bases on the field. The game is popular among Irish and British school children.” it’s pretty similar to baseball and softball – i say rounders is the teen mum of baseball and softball (more of the similarities between softball and rounders later), cricket being the awkward, gangly father.

but that’s not what it is to me, and possibly many, many other girls like myself around the country.

rounders is standing as far away from the posts as you possibly can, trying not to humiliate yourself in the pouring rain (it’s really just liquid sunshine). rounders is a barrage of rules, one weirder and more complicated than the next. rounders is being unable to hit that bloody ball with that beat-up little bat. rounders is being unable to bowl that bloody ball to the smug bats(wo)man (it’s usually a girl, boys here don’t play rounders at all, preferring instead to play cricket). rounders is actually smashing that ball far, far away..into the hands of the smug a-team deep fielder and being caught out.

i think you can tell that i’m not very good at this.

there aren’t that many positions in rounders, really – only nine people are on a team. my usual position, when i’m playing with my beloved d-team (the bottom group, comprised entirely of kids who would really like to be anywhere else), is backstop. this position equates roughly to catcher in baseball and softball, except i don’t get a nice mitt and usually just stand back looking scared, instead of doing any catching. i was backstop for house rounders this year – we’re hoping to come second, due to some miracle in which we beat two of our three teams we played against. all this despite a mortifying mistake in misinterpreting the bowler’s (pitcher’s) hand gestures, and my absence of rounders rule knowledge. it was okay, i guess.

if i was in america (gosh! imagine that…an american miki. that’s extremely weird and i don’t wish to delve deeper, although i will probably do so in a post very, very soon), i would probably be doing the same, except in softball. recently myself and my friend mila were messing around on instagram, and managed to find a softball account, dedicated to the wonderful sport of softball (obviously), not unsimilar to this one. we found this hysterical – what weirdo dedicates themselves to a sport? they talk so passionately about it – softball is love, softball is life. it got me thinking as well – are there accounts like this dedicated to rounders? rounders is pretty unintense – we have no safety gear, no national tournaments, no proper teams. it’s just pathetic stick-bat-hitting-oh-you-got-a-half-rounder. it’s only played by bored schoolgirls in p.e lessons, really. there’s a women’s college world series for softball, for goodness sake. if anybody over the age of 15 plays rounders seriously, i might just die of laughter.

did anyone here play rounders as a child? did you find it as horrible as i do? has anyone outside of the uk ever heard of it in their life? i’d love to know ^^

~miki ♥