Ruby Is Excited
We had hired robes, and Ruby looked spectacular as she took her turn on stage getting her diploma. Soon we were all milling around amid excited graduates, and a small group of mature students and their partners, Ruby and me included, went off to find a quiet bar away from the younger crowd.
Everyone was excitedly talking about what their plans were for the future. Some were looking to return to the job market with their new found degree, a couple was returning to do a post graduate course, and the remainder were just happy to be finished with studying. Ruby seemed unusually quiet during these discussions, but I put that down to excitement and tiredness.
We walked the short distance to the apartment, but rather than walking up to the door Ruby suddenly took my hand and led me along the Royal Mile. I asked where we were going, but she wouldn’t tell me, and soon we were at the base of Arthur’s Seat. “Last one to the tops a sissy!” Ruby called, and we started to race along the path that wound its way up the mountain. I was out of breath after only a short distance, and Ruby stopped and encouraged me to continue. Eventually, we reached a flat area with an uninterrupted view of the city, and Ruby waited for me to catch my breath.
“The castle is just there, but that one’s obvious to anyone,” She said. “Just below it and to the right, you see that steeple? Follow the line down and that’s where the bar is we were in tonight. Just to the right and down those steps – that’s Tron Square. You can’t see my apartment, but those roofs are where it is.” She continued to point out places and sights, each one accompanied by a description of an event or a meal or a funny story.
Then she paused and sighed. “I love this city,” she said. “Yes I know, it’s a great place,” I replied. She turned and looked at me, and I could tell in the moonlight that there were tears in her eyes. “No Tony, I mean I really love this city. You remember back when we were kids, and I lived in that cramped house with Ma and Pa and all the family? That was home. Since I left there, I’ve lived in a lot of places, some better than others, and we made the nicest place together in Sandringham. But, I have to say this Tony, none of them has felt like home. I wouldn’t have been able to express it before, but I know now that I never really felt like a place really knew me, and that I really knew it.”
I’d never heard Ruby talking this lyrically before, and I was struck by how much she had changed in the 4 years she’d been at University.
“Tony, Edinburgh feels like home to me. This collection of old, dirty streets, shambling buildings, and annoying people – I really feel a part of it, and that it’s a part of me. We had a great life in Norfolk, and I loved it and our home so much, and you too for making it possible. But when I think of leaving Edinburgh, my heart just breaks. This is where I want to live. Along these cobbled streets, my heart can sing the song it has held inside for too many years.
She turned back to the city spread out in front of us and let out a deep sigh. “This is Edinburgh, Tony, and it’s in my blood now in a way I can’t explain. It’s in my heart, and I want it to be our home.”