Katya’s text is an invitation to explore. My hand shakes as I type the address into the app. I follow the pulsing blue dot round the corner and my heart explodes in all directions, hot blood singing in my ears.

A sign nailed to a tree confirms what they – she – told me last night. Spreepark: Verboten. No entry. And again, in English underneath: Spreepark is closed.

I finger the cap of the black marker pen in my pocket. A trickle of sweat itches between my shoulderblades.

I don’t have to go in, if I don’t want to. I can just go home. I can just be the same boring person I was in Gateshead. Manchester. Blackpool. Aberdeen. Poland. Sheffield.

Why did I think this Summer would be any different? What did I hope for – a recovery process, to a version of me that has only ever existed in my head?

The blue dot pulses, waiting for me to decide who I am.


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