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A normal person would have gone home and hugged their loved one.

A normal person would have texted a friend or had an extended conversation on Messenger ending with multiple smiley faces and little hearts made out of inequality symbols and threes.

A normal person would have gone to the pub and waved their arms about as they described the pads of his fingertips creeping up her bare arm, hesitating at the elbow and then carrying on.


A normal person would have stopped his fingertips at the elbow. She’d have cleared her throat and said something cutting. She’d have walked out of that office and told all the other normal people what a slimeball he was and all the normal people would have looked horrified and stood up – I mean literally stood up from their desks – for her. Then all the normal people would have marched up to the next floor and demanded to see the CEO and the CEO would have listened to all the normal people and looked at the normal woman and he’d have felt so overwhelmed and disappointed in the situation that perhaps he’d have shed a tear. He’d have told the normal woman to take the rest of the day off and not to worry, her supervisor’s office would be empty when she came back because that was not the type of behaviour he tolerated at this normal workplace. And then the normal woman would have got in her car and she’d still have felt shaken, but she’d also have felt comforted and in the right, which is important. She’d have driven to her normal flat and spoken to her normal boyfriend and not paid any attention to how extraordinary those normal things were, even if the day itself had not been the most normal of days.

She wouldn’t have sat on her one chair to think about what an abnormal person might have done in her situation: how she might have done nothing but continue through the day and not tell anyone because she was pretty sure abnormal things only happened because she was abnormal herself. It wouldn’t have occurred to the normal woman that there was a kind of normalness or at least an inevitability in her sitting alone in her flat on the one chair without turning on the light, not knowing what she could eat because the only food in the fridge was for the cat, and not knowing who she could tell because her mother was in the nursing home and didn’t always remember the woman was the abnormal woman and not the abnormal woman’s normal sister.


The normal woman wouldn’t have sat there thinking it would be hard but also unsurprisingly normal to have to go into the same office and talk to the same man again tomorrow. She wouldn’t have spent her evening imagining what a normal person would have done differently while the cat howled in the kitchen and the upstairs neighbours ran their washing machine.


by Natasha Bush // Artwork by Hana Elmasry  // featured image by Mayuri Paranthahan 


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