Jess liked spinning and counting the things that flew past her. She claimed she counted one hundred twenty clocks on the wall once. She was spinning now and the grass beneath her feet was becoming a squished green mess. Jess wasn’t sure what she was counting that day as all that surrounded her were trees and more grass. She kept spinning and spinning until all the view mixed together into green and blue mass, so solid she thought she could reach it.
Jess stopped and sat on the ground. She counted the ants that were busily running nearby. Eight. She counted the freckles on her left arm, and then on the right. Thirty seven and twenty eight. Jess stopped herself from counting the flowers in the field. She knew that eventually she had to start counting what mattered. Jess concentrated.
Jake usually drinks one beer in 15 minutes in summer time. He drinks even faster if it’s a light beer. He’s been gone for 2 hours now. It takes him 10 minutes to get to the pub and order a drink. Scratch that, Jess remembered he’d be slower today as he’d be trying to make a good impression. So, five or six beers. Jess guessed Jake would come home at twenty past ten. This would be the one hundred and twenty first night in their new home. The problem was, Jess trusted numbers more than Jake. And numbers told her she needs to go back to her old home again. To leave this. To leave this summer.
Jess hated the numbers. She feared them because they were always right. She always obeyed them. Before Jake, she never even questioned them. Now, she wasn’t sure she liked this summer anymore. The numbers told her she would, but she didn’t. Jess went home, climbed upstairs and sat on their bed, counting every step.