The Retreat

A short story

Now settled in our places and ice broken we tell our stories.  I am used to telling my story, I do it regularly in a group situation and I am aware that it is just a story, it is no longer who I am, but it is where I have been to, and needs revisiting in these types of situations to begin the process to unlock some of the blocks to a state of eternal joy. I enjoy listening to others and finding out what brought them to now.

I am interested to hear the mystery latecomer speak, I want to hear what brought him here today,  he tells a couple of statements of fact, he is single, lives in Kent and used to be a police officer, oh and he has a girlfriend..  DAMN this guy, I want to know more, is he shy, dumb or just selfish?

As he starts asking questions of us, he reveals, not arrogance or indifference but some kind of deep understanding of what is making, or could make), us desperate story telling people tick.

So, I am sitting there, opposite this cool guy, who is asking probing and relevant questions of all, but wait, what is he wearing? Are those joggers legal in public? Somewhat distracted by the loose, soft, seemingly impossibly thin fabric I do my best to get a grip and return to the room. Peter is smiling, Peter is good at smiling, and Kate is looking a little pensive, constantly catching herself, digging inside to see if she has a smile like it. I have absolutely no idea what the other humans in the room are doing, thinking, I am not sure we are actually in the same time space, I am pretty sure their minds are not dwelling on red joggers.