|07|  - "Routines are boring."

"You missed a crazy weekend."

Jasmine was her usual bundle of energy as I fought my way into our flat later that evening. She reached to give me a hug and then helped to carry my bags into my room.

"You look shattered," she said.

"I think it's exhaustion," I replied, shrugging off my coat and tossing it onto my bed. "What happened at the weekend?"

She perched on the edge of my bed and proceeded to reel off endless information about their action-packed weekend, which included Abbie kissing a random German guy at an Erasmus party and Ant getting thrown out of a bar for being too drunk. The account was backed up by several photos, a lot of them blurred, of both Ant and Abbie posing on random Vespas in side streets.

"Sounds like I missed a good one," I said.

"But tell me about your weekend!" Her eyes glistened with excitement, ready to absorb whatever information I released. But what to say?

"We just made the most of the time together, really," I said.

She raised her eyebrows, a small smile forming. "Come on, Izzy. You don't have to be coy around me."

I shrugged. "It flew by, that's all. I think Nathan would've been happy to spend both days in bed, and so would I to a certain extent, but..."

"Yeah," she said, grasping my point. "I guess it's about finding that balance between making the most of the physical intimacy, and making the most of spending time together to form memories."

I nodded. "The time just goes so quickly. Makes it difficult to find that balance. I'm sure we'll figure it out and settle down into some kind of routine."

She pulled a face. "Nah, routines are boring. It's all about the spontaneity, not quite knowing what each day will bring."

I forced a smile. "I've never really been the spontaneous kind. I overthink things way too much. Major character flaw."

"You're too hard on yourself," she said, pressing the Home button on her phone to illuminate the screen. "It's not a flaw to be thoughtful."

"Well, even if we don't get into a routine, then it'll at least be a rhythm, once we've worked out the best way to approach all this."

Jasmine nodded and smiled. "You'll work it out. The best couples always do."


A couple of days later, I found myself restless in the flat. Jasmine was at a lecture, Nathan was working, and I'd had enough of memorising vocab in my bedroom.

Slipping on a jacket, I headed out of the flat and took off down a random street. I didn't know where I was intending to go, but it didn't matter. Bologna was a friendly city and, although the number of tourists had started to decrease, there remained that element of familiarity and comfort in knowing that I wasn't the only foreigner among the locals.

It had been a while since I'd simply wandered around alone. After moving in together, Nathan and I spent most of our spare time in each other's company and we were rarely at a loose end or having to make our own entertainment. During the week, he worked and I studied. At the weekend, we hung out. Sometimes I'd head out by myself, but I always knew he was back at the flat waiting.

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