On the big day, all the bits of furniture I had been quietly buying were liberated from my big orange storage unit in a park full of big orange storage units. While that was happening, my dad collected the neat pile of stuff from my bedsit in his Tranny, and me and my stepmum supervised. I think she was surprised by how much I had accumulated, and I grinned at her.
“I’ve been nesting for a while. I just couldn’t find the right tree.”
By teatime we had everything ready, and Mum had even hung my curtains for me. She stood and looked about her.
“It’s a funny house, but it suits you Aly.”
“It does. And it’s convenient too. Just across the road from work. Ten minutes from the gym. And the same to the Wounded Soldier – where we are going for our tea. My treat.”
We got our coats and ambled off to the pub for a huge meal from the carvery. When we were so stuffed we could barely stand, my parents went one way and I went the other to my new home.
If some of those who moved in after me are to be believed, there was an inimical atmosphere in the luxury apartments from day one, but I felt nothing. I just fell into my king sized bed and slept like a baby.
The next day was Sunday, so I got to lay in bed reading until long after nine. Then I thought about food. As far as I knew there was bugger all in my shiny new kitchen, not even the wherewithal for coffee. I groaned and groped my way into the shower.
When I finally made it upstairs I found a note in my stepmum’s neat round hand on the worktop.
Bet you forgot food. There’s basics in the fridge and the tall cupboard next to it. Coffee machine is charged.
“Bless the woman” I said out loud. Once I had coffee in my belly and a bacon sandwich in front of me, I sent her a text. She called me right back and we had a very giggly, girly sort of conversation. The upshot of that was her getting in her battered Nissan Micra and coming to pick me up for a proper grocery shop. We lunched together, on fresh bread, cheese, and deli ham before she set off home to cook a big roast tea for Dad who had been at work all day. I declined the offer to eat with them, and she smiled and stroked my cheek.