Filling the Void by Jill Waters

Josie stared at her laptop, trying to fill in the stupid form. ‘How would your friends describe you, in one sentence?’ What did that have to do with anything? If her friends’ opinions were worth anything, she probably wouldn’t be filling in the damn form in the first place. She sat, head in hands, wondering what they would say. Something about her appearance? Probably not - they weren’t especially judgemental. Good sense of humour? Maybe. Given to mood swings? Possibly, though that didn’t sell her in the most positive light. Then it came to her.

‘She’s not scared of anything.’ She’d heard them say it lots of times. Every time she’d signed up to another extreme challenge. Abseiling, bungee-jumping, whitewater rafting, she’d done the lot. They were right, she had no fear and was positively addicted to adrenaline. She was currently exploring the possibility of doing a bobsleigh run once the Covid thing was over.

She absently wondered where the urge to throw herself off cliffs or out of planes had come from. Not her parents, that was certain. They were the world’s most cautious people. Saved every penny for a rainy day, never left the country because flying was too risky and only had one child, in case things went wrong again. Would things have been different if her twin sister had survived more than a few hours?

That was it, of course. She was living life for the two of them, trying to fill a void, to complete herself. Her friends believed that she was unafraid because that was the persona she’d presented to them, but truth was, she was terrified. Of being alone, of having no-one to share her life with once she’d tired of adrenaline. And, at this particular moment, in time, of online dating…

Published in Issue #26

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