Red. The colour of blood. The colour of an open wound, of pain.

You open a new bank account. There’s not a lot that you can spare, but every month you deposit the little that you can. It’s an emergency package, a parachute, a hope.

Close to your work, at the mall, you have a spare set of car keys cut. You keep them at your office, with a bag of spare clothes and your passport.

Red is anger. We say, to see red.

The colour red doesn’t appear alone: there is the yellow puss of infection that’s the tint of anxiety, the blacks and greys of rot, of fear, of numbness.

You want to shout, to scream. That was something you learned (quickly quickly) to not do. Anger is one way to be hurt. Crying is another.

Your current friends are his friends. They’re all his friends — your friends hadn’t liked him, and he very much didn’t like them. You’re going to miss having friends, but maybe you can reach out to people you used to know?

But old friends are a way for him to find you.

Job interviews are stressful. The job you find is across the country. The job offers a fresh start, cut off, distant and alone, but hopefully unfindable.

The last few days of your old job are paid leave days. You don’t tell him. When your leave begins, your first stop is the office to pick up your travel bag.

Everything else you leave behind.

Sometimes rot needs to be cut away.