“It’s funny just how far away from someone you can feel while holding them. The distance always feels the furthest when you’re right next to them. While she sat in my arms, I was staring at the flowers, the fountain, anything, anything but her. She was everywhere. Or at least, she had been. She had been in everything, everywhere I looked. And now I could barely feel her, just inches away. It had started to change.

” ‘What had changed?’ people always wonder to themselves. Nothing, of course, is the one answer they never consider. The world just kept turning, heedless, regardless, impassive, as it always does. Nothing has to change.

“How long have we been here? I’m not bored, but it feels like forever. I’m still just confused, though that’s no excuse. I don’t know what to do, how to help her. I don’t know how to stop her getting hurt. I think I should be more selfish. I should be worrying about me. But I’m not. Some things never change.

“Eventually it’s over, and I don’t even know what happened. Is it better? Is it worse? All I know is after the day I’ve had, I really need to get drunk. ‘I’ve only got a fifty quid note, mate.’ ‘Then you really need some sodding change.’

“And he’s right, you know. I really need a sodding change.”