100 Voices

By Miranda Roszkowski

100 years after getting the Vote, 100 female writers share their story

If I say it out loud by Branwen Davies
If I say it out loud it has to happen right? That’s been my mistake in the past. Keeping it to myself. Allowing myself to just day dream. But if I say it out loud, I have to go through with it. Make it happen. I’m good at dawdling and skirting around and let’s face it, excuses. Nothing will change unless…well unless I change it and I’m running out of excuses. Maybe running out of time.
So I choose my most sceptical friend. The one I think will laugh the loudest and convince me that I’m going insane. I drag her out for a drink. Only she doesn’t laugh. She says go for it. So now not only have I said it out loud I have validation and encouragement too!
I’m stuck. Agitated. Biting at the bit. Needing to do something. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Hell I’m bored and even worse feeling boring. I need to shock my senses. Scare myself a little. Take a risk.
I’m in my favourite Japanese restaurant and over a bowl of steaming ramen I’m thinking – Japan!
A week later a letter arrives and I recognise sceptical friend’s scribble. A postcard and a cutting from a newspaper and I spit out my coffee and I’m like – What the fuuu - Do you want to live in Japan? Can you teach English? Be there by September!
Is this real? I mean, I’d pulled out September from mid air when I told her bold as brass after my third glass of wine that I was going to move to Japan and that I was going to be there in 9 months and…oh my god - this is my green light!!
There’s a small matter of an interview first but…I can pull that off right?
Everyone is in suits. Grey suits. I don’t own a suit. I’m in blue. Bright blue and purple. Purple with a splash of pink. Neon pink. And you know. Yellow shoes. With pink bows.
I’m sweating. Squirming. He’s frowning at me – the big boss guy, and he’s asking me, in front of everyone, like thirty of the suited ones – what possessed you – what possessed you to come to dressed like that?
The kids in ill fitting suits are sniggering.
Me? I don’t own a suit. I’m an actor. I don’t usually do interviews. I do auditions. I try and dress the part of the part I’m up for you know. As this is a teacher position, teaching young children I thought I’d dress the part.
Silence.
I’m offered the job on the spot. And I’m here. On the floor of a strange city at night in just my pants, a cold Asahi in my hand, feeling free in the warm Japanese air.
Say it out loud. I dare you.

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