Playing Stories — Chapter 37: New Year’s Day

Chapter 37: New Year’s Day
from the 2017 album “Reputation” by Taylor Swift
written with Emily in the next seat on the train, 3 July 2019

But I stay when it’s hard, or it’s wrong
Or we’re making mistakes

8:27 AM

Hey Mo
Wut happened last night
And where we changing again


Yeah but what happened last night

Laura tried to kiss me
You threw up at her place
And we’re persona non grata in Paris
So you know, not the worst thing to happen

8:38 AM

Hey im sorry about all of that
Mustve been pretty drunk
Only remember you n her screaming a lot

That’s an understatement

You really miss her

I don’t want to talk about it

You know what you did

Sorry i messed up
I shouldn’t hv said anything last night

8:45 AM

Actually is it okay if I go?
Youve been good to me for the weekend, but maybe I should go home, Ive seen enough of Paris
This trip has been shit so far anyway

No it’s fine
It’s okay
You don’t have to go
Just that I texted Laura but she isn’t replying

Oh no
Im really sorry
Didnt know that waterfall was yr secret spot

It’s okay
It’s not your fault

Laura is such an awful person
You found that place didn’t you
You can bring anyone you want there

You said that much last night
But thanks
Laura is like that sometimes
Just dramatic
Can’t handle people being more important than her
Let her calm down a bit

I just talked to her too
God its strange writing to somebody you havent talked to for years


Well i tried to

Did she say anything rude?

She was swearing a lot down the phone
(photo of chat with Laura)


Shell calm down
She always does

I don’t know
She’s so capricious

8:59 AM

BTW, you’re headed to Munich right?

Yh im off to see the castle
Thought i might see it since im around
Though i can come to cologne with u too
Like if u need the company

Oh that’s nice of you…
You don’t have to, seriously

No it’s fine
Ive got the time
I feel guilty after last night anyway
Wru going? Geneva right?

Actually, one more thing
Why the hell are we talking like this?

Talking like how?

Like why are you not coming over to chat

I mean
Were talking fine arent we?

I can literally SEE you from my seat
How long would it take for you to come over and say something

There’s like sixteen hundred people round your seat
Cant you come over here instead

I like it here
The woman next to me is kind
She doesn’t chew loudly
She’s the opposite of Laura

Yeah but nobody wants to talk to u in that space
Do you wanna find a space near the doors to talk?

No thanks
Lets just go on

What is it with you, actually

Where you planning to go for Munich?

You can never do a one-on-one convo without disappearing

9:30 AM

I guess I just don’t like people

9:52 AM

Maybe BMW

They’re both nice

10:01 AM

Look, it’s not like I hate you or anything
It’s just that I

10:04 AM

Kind of don’t like facing up to people too long?

Never thot youd be the shy one

It’s not really about being shy
Just like I talk and then
It feels awkward?
Like sometimes you or others ask questions
And I don’t have answers


So yeah
You were asking me stuff on the train and I wasn’t ready

I mean
You dont have to answer everything
Im just curious
And i guess i just wanted somebody to talk to

I know
It’s not your fault
I just need time
Laura was a rare exception
Maybe that’s why

I still feel a bit guilty
Do you need a bit of me time?
Im not good at talking but i can stay if you want me to

Oh you don’t have to

Least i could do after paris

You know it’s gonna be the other way round right?
You don’t even know German or French

Well i might be useful some way
Unless youd like to explore Geneva on your own

10:13 AM

Yeah about that
I lied

What do you mean lied?

I wasn’t going to Geneva
Actually I made that up when you asked me

But you told me you werent planning to stay…

All made up
Look Thomas…
Before you turned up
I thought I was gonna be able to have a quiet few weeks in Paris
I thought I could patch things up with Laura and find my friend back or something
So when you asked me where I was going, I told you that I was leaving in a couple of days
Maybe I was gonna leave soon, who knows?
I just needed to get away for a bit from people who knew me and from people who would just look at me
London was just too much, you know?
Just everyone looking at me and then looking through me
But you were there and I wasn’t sure if I wanted somebody like you there all the time
And then it turned out that Laura hadn’t let me go yet
Maybe she won’t
Anyway I don’t really know where I’m going with this
I lied

Whyd you stay?

Honestly? I don’t know
Maybe just a desire to latch on to somebody or to feel like I matter or something
I mean, you can go your own way
Don’t mind me
Just casually being a drop in the ocean
I’m fine

Of course not
Im staying
At least youll have somebody to talk to
Or to vent out on, whatever

Seriously, you don’t have to
I don’t know where I’m going anyway
And Geneva is boring

Come with me to Munich then
I could use a language helper

Most people in Munich know how to speak English, you know that?
I’ll only be there to spoil the view

It’d be much happier with you along for the ride
Plus youre not a bad tour guide
Youre really good at helping people out you know
Dont sell yourself short

10:51 AM

So u wanna come?

She sat down quietly in the empty seat next to him.

“Hey, Thomas.”
“I’ve got some time. I can stay.”

“Thanks for everything.”
“It’s okay.”

They stared into each other’s eyes for a very long time.

“Stuttgart. Shouldn’t we be getting off?”
“Yeah, sure. Give me a hand with the bags?”
“Come along with me then…”

It’s the first time I’ve ever had somebody editing my stuff in real time. The person who’s reading this over my shoulder is a real sill


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