“Ready rebel yell from the pit to the bell” he sang, hunched over, shirtless and teeth bearing. This was his town and yet he knew he still had to throw the punches to get the smiles from the crowd. Tom had only been doing the circuits less than a year but knew from the crackle in the air that this was where he was meant to be - kicking it to the kids who thought they knew better but lapped up new words regardless, moving to the beat that Tom clicked from his tongue. It was good, man…

The bed creaked with a jolt as Tom flopped, face-first, head-spinning with smoke and adrenaline to the relative comfort of the sheets and springs. He had work in the morning but he didn’t care. Tom whispered something too muddled for even he to work out what he just said but it didn’t matter. Sleep tugged at him then and he sailed further still; off on another trip until morning.

And morning came and went. The day started to get warm and Tom, still dressed, was starting to feel it. He did the only thing he could do when it was too late to do anything, which was to literally throw himself on the floor. FLUMP. Face to floorboard. Tom looked through the crack in front of him and lay there for a while, staring into the new abyss. Before he lost it, he was up and running on the spot; gaining speed to make it to the bathroom.

Tom washed the echoes of the night before away as each moment slithered past his ears and eyes raising a grin on his pale, wet face. He cleaned up and headed out of his apartment as soon as he could. No Xbox today, even though he promised some of the guys last night.

He wanted to run and then it hit him that his boss hadn’t called. His phone was dead. Standard. Tom sighed but carried on into the day. No use connecting now. He’d already been to hell and back with a room full of people. Why would he want to be sucked back into any social cacophony after last night? He’d spend the day outside, throwing shit by the river or just sat on a wall somewhere. Taking time and revelling in himself for a day. Future Tom could deal with the fallout.