Remi Oshibanjo


Remi Oshibanjo is self-published author of a collection of poetry called, ‘These Are The Most Terrifying Thoughts” which is sold on Amazon and is an active member of the London based creative collective, SXWKS. In 2016, Remi was one of Spread the Word’s Flight Associates and is one of the co-Founders of AZ Magazine, the only British BME LGBT+ online publication. Her writing focuses largely on the Queer Black British experience, how love leads all of our lives.

She is currently working on her debut novel, “Child is a Dirty Word”. Child is a Dirty Word, is a novel about love in South London, where two teenage young women fall in love, as star crossed lovers as Romeo and Juliet did.

Leaving Today


Anne Marie climbed onto the platform with a small rucksack. Too small for what she

was about to do. She had brought her a ticket the day before, so paced the length of the

mostly empty platform 24 minutes before her train boarded. The rest of the passengers

were still milling around on the other side of the barriers, getting something to eat or

arguing with the paper ticket machine.

The day was warm, though it was March so Anne Marie was in t-shirt and jeans, a

uniform for her. Her platform opened out quickly into the open air and the sky was a

muddy pink colour, the right sort of hue for 6:36am. The wind was so brisk that morning

that she could see the clouds moving, like they too were running away.

She wouldn’t look at her phone, she had put all her notifications on silent, so unless she

went looking in the various apps they would never present themselves to her. There

was a loneliness in that that was some parts eerie, and some parts loud. She quickly

tried to shrug it away. Twenty one, minutes before the train departed and Anne Marie

was still one of the few people on the platform. She glanced back to the other end for

her fellow passengers, trying to guess the ones that were to travel all or some part of

400 miles with her that morning.

One man on the platform with her, she was sure had his shirt buttoned up wrongly, the

pink of his skin showed how he struggled to get there on time. He succeeded and Anne-

Marie thanked him how she thanked most people for anything- silently with a half smile.


Another man behind him was quickly eating a cheese filled croissant whilst talking on

the phone. There were pastry crumbs on the floor around him marking his territory.

Slowly but surely, the platform was filling up. Anne Marie’s palms were automatically

wet. Was she really doing this again? Yep, okay she nodded to herself as she

remembered and widened her stance on the ground, to strengthen her decision.

Every single woman that walked on to the platform looked exactly like her in a tiny way.

One had Shola’s walk, the way she sort of fell into each step and sometimes even

looked a little shocked at her own clumsiness. Another woman had her hair in one of the

ways that Shola had done hers recently, long fine intricate braids that fell way down her

back, that she had to brush off her shoulders every so often in a way that Anne-Marie

found to be so beautiful. Another woman smiled like Shola, and as she passed Ann

Marie on the platform, she had to hold back her tears.

The train pulled up loudly soon after that moment and she allowed herself to have a last

scan of the platform for Shola before silently berating herself for doing so. ‘You wanted

this, so you’ve done it, she isn’t coming just like you told her not to you fucking idiot.

Don’t forget all she does is make you feel bad.’

She shook the feelings off her and boarded the train, leaving them outside.


Inside was darker than outside and Anne Marie was glad for it. The dimness made it

easier for her to ignore herself. She found her seat quickly, a single seat in first class

facing forward. There is no point in running away from your life if you aren’t going to do

it in style, she thought, sitting down on the seat and reclining a little, for no other reason

then she had paid for the ability to do so. An old man on the right of her looked over,

with his eyes he told her that she is not supposed to be sitting next to him, not here. She

smiled back and nodded a little. ‘Yes I am Paul. Yes I am’

Somehow her feelings found her at her seat and Anne-Marie’s breath grew tight in her

chest, she was wheezing and she was just a little angry at Paul, the neighbour she had

named for not turning around again and asking if she was okay. A wealthy blur of

people went past as her panic attack ensued and then subsided. By the end of it she

was flattened and lay crumpled in her seat phone in her hand.

Afterwards, it felt like it was just her and the phone on the train. It’s cold glass pressed

on to her hand as she turned it in her palm. Eventually the screen lit up and showed her

the time. 4 minutes until the train departed. Still no sight of her in the window, that Anne

Marie was trying not to look at. Everything you need is in this carriage, she tried to

remind herself.

‘If it can’t fit in that bag then you don’t need it right?’

Somehow she could not make it true. So she opened her phone and let the world, her

old world pour in.


To you,

You know very well that there was no way that I could have made the train you are

probably sitting on right now. You knew I would have only seen your message after my

night shift that finished at 6:45am. I couldn’t have got to Euston on time. Thinking about

it, the way that you have asked me to come with you, is the way you asked for

everything in our relationship. It’s so cruel Ann Marie, you do it silently, expecting me to

drop everything and come to you. It’s not fair Anne Marie. How many different ways am

I supposed to tell you that I love you? I’m not a mind reader, no one is. So why? Why

do you set me up to fail -what have I done? Why do you enjoy it?

You know there is no coming back from this. I know why you are going to Scotland,

Edinburgh to be precise. I know that Ama moved there last month. I know she asked

you to come with her. I know you have been thinking about it, whilst in bed with me. I’ve

seen the question on your face in the morning. I tried to make myself bigger, in the hope

that it would erase the thoughts. It could never have worked. But I hope she makes you

really happy Anne Marie. I’m going to go home now and throw your things away, I know

you wouldn’t have taken much. You can’t take too much when you run away from your

life- that doesn’t make sense. I’ll struggle with bills now but you don’t care. Have a really

nice life. Tell Ama I said hello. You are free of me now, congratulations to you, to both of

you. The summer is coming, I know you’ll both enjoy it.