The last person is in the car; the last instructions – “don’t forget to take the chicken out of the oven at 3” – have been issued. You’ve had an induction course in the central heating system you mastered five years ago, and been told where the healthy snacks are. Twice.
Finally the door slams. You’re alone: at home, alone, for three blissful hours in which no one can tell you what to do or not do, eat or not eat. And from that moment onwards, these are the thoughts you have.
1. FREEEEDOM. I can do anything I want. Literally anything. Aaaannnyyyything.
2. What shall I do?
3. Netflix! Where free teenage wills go to party. A three hour binge of my favourite ever show. Money can’t buy this stuff. What to watch though, that’s the question. What to… watch…
4. Riverdale! Obvs. But where did I get up to? Was it seven? or eight? What if START watching eight and then completely ruin 7 for myself? I’ll watch seven again to make sure.
5. Have I watched this before? It does feel kind of familiar… did I see the attic part? On ninth thoughts, I’m going to do something else until I remember where I left off.
6. Something productive. Like, get beyond chapter two of that doorstop of a book Uncle Pete gave me for Christmas. 2015. I’ll just check Instagram quickly first though.
7. OMG Jess’s beagle is so cute / Mmmmm lemon drizzle / Charcoal lattes? Srlsy / Totally regramming that inspirational quote. In a minute. / Seriously that beagle kills me every time / Want. / Just look at its little paw! / Want-need-have-to-have those earrings / K, Jess, enough of the beagle now / Ah, Siobhan looks nice, where is she? / Isn’t that Ashanti’s house?! / GABS TOO?!? / They’re all there! Why wasn’t I invited?
8. Great. My friends hate me. I’m literally the only one in the world not at Ashanti’s right now.
9. What was I doing again? Oh yeah. Back to the book I go. At least it will distract me from my misery. Which chapter was I on? I will just get some chocolate first though, before I get stuck in. Would be a shame to break off halfway through out of hunger.
10. MuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUM! WHERE HAVE YOU HIDDEN THE CHOCOLATE??!!!
12. No really where is it. The stair cupboard? The garage? Her bedside drawer?
13. I CAN NEVER UNSEE WHAT I JUST SAW IN HER BEDSIDE DRAWER. Has she NO sense of privacy?
14. Well at least that’s put me off the chocolate. Back to the book! I am a leetle bit hungry, though. Where did they say the healthy snacks are? Damn, should’ve listened.
15. Never mind. Sure I can casually rustle something nutritious and satisfying up.
16. Coco Pops it is! Now. This book…
17. JC WHAT WAS THAT NOISE?
18. It’s FINE, it’s only the wind. They must have left a window open or something. Just going to take a look though. Can’t be too sure.
19. No I’m not.
20. Yes I am.
21. No, I’m not. What if it murders me? What if the noise murders me?
22. There! That was it again! That was DEFINITELY a NOISE. If I can make it to the bathroom then I can lock that door and read in safety. Worst case scenario, jump out the window.
23. But what if it burgles the house?
24. Surely they would want me to save myself. Wouldn’t they. Or would they?
25. There it is again! I swear to god it’s getting so closer. I am SO SCARED. WHEN ARE THEY COMING HOME? WHY HAVE THEY ALL LEFT ME?
26. Wait. Did they take the dog? IT’S THE BLOODY DOG! Come here boy. You little… actually can you smell burning? Because I sure…
27. Ohhhhh sh*tting hell. The chicken!
28. It’s unsalvageble. It’s like a tree stump in a field of burnt onions. Can you inject moisture BACK into a chicken? What are the chances of getting a roast chicken Deliverooed to the house before they return, I wonder?
29. GAH. That’s them. How time flies when you’re having… fun.