It was Saturday morning. James was out at work already, doing the extra cash-in-hand jobs which helped to pay for the food shop. I luxuriated in bed a little, spreading my arms and legs out to form a starfish. The house was still, so Freya was probably sleeping in too. It often seemed too quiet here. This was supposed to be our dream house, our big move. I kept telling myself I would get used to it, that it would get better for our family in the countryside, but sometimes I was still terrified we’d made the wrong decision. I padded downstairs and turned on the coffee machine. I put enough water in for two cups. Freya liked to think she already had very grown-up tastes.
Mabel slunk out of her bed to greet me, giving me a long stare in the process. She could sleep for most of the day, but that didn’t stop her from judging me when I had a lay-in. Less attention for her.
After I’d finished my second cup and a slightly stale bagel, I was considering why anyone had invented a bread which was inedible unless toasted when the doorbell rang. By the time I’d slipped on a dressing gown (I didn’t like to wear a bra in bed, and I also didn’t like the thought of delivery men ogling me in my pyjama vest) and slapped over to the front door in my slip-on slippers, they’d already driven off. Or vanished, more like. There were three large cardboard boxes on my front porch, emitting a musty odour. I was beginning to regret ever saying I would take them.
I hoped they weren’t heavy, but I had no such luck. Lifting with my knees, I managed to heave them, one at a time, into the living room. Working from home had done nothing for my muscle definition. Just when I was finished, Freya showed up, bobbing her blonde head over the stair rail in that nosy way of hers.
“You timed that well,” I said, arching an eyebrow.
“Are those from Aunt Isabel? I can smell coffee.” She took the last steps two at a time and half-jogged into the kitchen. Very good at evading a subject too, I thought. Definite lawyer or politician.