My carriage awaits. A gleaming pumpkin glides into view at the top of my street. I gasp, grin broadly and clasp my hands together.
Smoothly passing parked cars and the taxi beeping its horn outside number 38 it comes to a stop outside my door. As soon as my feet touch the doorstep I am transformed and floating a couple of inches above the pavement and the channel of rubbish between the cars and the kerb. The gilded carriage door opens magically and the scent of coconuts and mangoes wafts delicately towards me; my usual Monday frown far from my face.
Inside the cushions are soft, covered in plush velvet. Sinking down into them my head falls back onto plump pillows. My whole body relaxes, cocooned from grey dullness locked firmly outside. The floor of the carriage is thick with rose petals of every colour; peach, bright yellow tipped with scarlet, cream, deep blood red, bright pink. I swish my feet about in them.
A gradual incline as I’m swept up into the clouds, above the rooftops and the traffic jams and the stop start moody morning. Out, way out, over endless fields where patches of sunlight seep through, washing the greens and browns with startling brightness. Brightness flashes so sharply I blink hard, hands rushing up instinctively to cover my eyes.
A deep sigh.
Count to ten.
Open my eyes.
Ring the bell.
Hoicking my bag onto my shoulder I sway unsteadily at the top of the stairs, buffeted about by crap driving, pot-holey roads and fellow passengers with no concept of personal space.
Leaving the bus and sinking back down into the real world I should be forgetting.
A real world where the man who brought me tea in bed, slipped in beside me for 20 more minutes, and who I left breathless and happy – my Prince Charming who makes me float on a meringue cloud – is my best friend’s boyfriend.