Max stared at the bonfire. The orange and reds danced in front of her eyes. The general rumble of voices could be heard all around her. The famous Biddenden Blaze was in full swing. Children laughed, stall holders shouted. Max stood alone with her thoughts staring into the fire.
Five years ago, to the day, she had been stood in exactly the same spot. That was when the beautiful Toni had approached her. They had worked together a few years ago. Toni had always caught Max’s eye. The long dark curly hair, the dark brown eyes that drew you in. When she smiled she sometimes bit her lip, it drove Max crazy. They had chatted by the fire, catching up on mutual friends. Toni had then turned to her and invited her to go for a drink. Max had declined, she had started seeing someone else. It didn’t feel right going for a drink, no matter how much she wanted to.
The first rocket went up, bringing Max back to the present. Children around her laughed and pointed, as colours streaked the sky. Max moved closer to the bonfire, it was getting cold. After all those years, why had she come back here? Five years ago was the moment she had lost herself. By coming back, maybe, she could find some of the old Max.
There had been no opportunity in the last five years to attend. Max had only started seeing Kath, five years ago. The relationship had been intense. Three weeks of seeing each other and they had moved in together. Max had moved into Kath’s house, a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. At first, Max had enjoyed the solitude, within six months it had imprisoned her. Using the isolation Kath had abused and tortured Max for the next four years. First, it was a joint bank account that Max had no card for. Then the joint car, Max was never allowed to drive. Depression had settled in, Max’s job was the next to go.
With the last of her strength, Max had left Kath one month ago. Kath was still pursuing her, Max was trying to stay strong and not let Kath back in. The old Max had gone, there was nothing left. She was broken to an extent she didn’t even recognise herself.
A silent tear slid down Max’s cheek. She looked around to ensure no one was watching. Everyone was too busy with the bonfire to notice.
Max stared at everyone around her. She was going mad, if she didn’t know better she would say all the same people were at the bonfire. Everyone from five years ago seemed to be in exactly the same place.
As she stared at all the families around her, a voice said.
“Hello stranger, fancy seeing you again.”
Max turned and looked into those dark brown eyes. She smiled, there was no way she would make the same mistake twice. When Toni, once again, asked her to go for a drink, she didn’t hesitate.