Chapter 1 – Extract 5 from The Paradise Induction!
“Ready to go? Everything packed up?” his mother said. Chris nodded.
“Okay then, let’s do it,” she continued, grabbing his hand-luggage and making her way out the door. He examined himself one final time in the hallway mirror.
This is the last time I’ll see myself in this mirror for ages, he thought, fixing the collar on his favourite blue shirt; a positive shirt that held good memories for him and seemed fitting for this life-changing occasion.
He took a deep sigh.
He checked his wallet to see his last two-hundred pounds from Job Seekers Allowance payments converted into American dollars, then put it away. He brushed a spec of dust off the shoulder of his black suit and nodded at his reflection.
“Come on,” his mother said, pulling him from the abyss of hesitation. He grabbed his two suitcases—one in hand and one pulling behind him as they left their small flat in Pimlico, Central London.
On the concrete landing, they walked down the switch-back stairs. He balanced the luggage with the steps as the plastic wheels echoed hard into the apartment block with each drop.
Leaving for University had been different to this; Southampton was a train journey away from London. This trip felt permanent, like there was a possibility he’d never be coming back.