Judgemeadow Community College, Leicester
You find yourself enraptured by the sight of your breath condensing onto the cold glass of the train window, the world whirling by outside, obscured by your own narcissistic drive to keep breathing, to stay alive. White wisps, like smoke, swirl around the grime of the glass and the hot tea – courtesy of the train trolley staff – is kept on your lap only by the weak hold of your fingers, nails bitten down to the point where scars have formed, and you trace the uneven cardboard, hot liquid spilling over at the zenith and staining your hands red with a burn. Your forehead presses against the window, hair enveloping your face on either side, and the soft hum and ba-dum of the train lulls you to a calm. Green: the collective mass of fields and trees and grass is forcibly shoved into a single category of emerald, the stretched thin line of grey sky mingling with, blurring with, the lush forestry and farms. Jostled by the train’s motion, your luggage spills onto your feet, dirt from the bottom of your offbrand trainers tainting the thin fabric of your backpack, which is as green as the shrubbery beyond the glass that stretches for miles beyond what you can comprehend. Realisation doesn’t knock or ring the bell quietly, it smashes down the mahogany door to the mush of your remaining brain cells and you notice something other than the scene laid out before you like a tablecloth at Christmas dinner, the scene that sleeps around you. You notice how previously flawed your perception had been, single-minded and basking in its own futility.