My hand was curled around a glass, while I was sitting on the lounge and peering down the hallway, as Dad arrived back home.
“Hello,” I called out. “How was your day?”
Dad wandered down the hallway and reached the kitchen before answering.
“Oh, it was good,” he replied.
“Who was there today?” Mum wanted to know, while she filled up a glass bottle with cold water from the tap.
“Ah, only Greg, Geoff and I, today,” Dad answered.
He rested his wallet on the wall. I sat up a little straighter.
“Is Geoff coming in?” I wanted to know.
I felt heavy with exhaustion and missing Mitchell, so I longed for his comfort.
“Ah,” Dad responded, glancing over his shoulder, given that he was unsure.
Just then, the screen door opened. Geoff passed through, in the door and down the hallway. Just like that, the boys’ week at Dee Why was complete. The washing machine beeped, indicating that the load was ready to hang out. As I walked up to the laundry, Geoff approached me, kissing my hair and telling me about his day, as I took the wet clothes out of a machine, into a basket and outside. I pegged a pair of Mum’s white underwear onto the clothes rack. When my phone rang, I scurried up the hallway, bathing in golden sunlight leaking in through the screen door. I ducked into my bedroom and reached across, answering the call.
“Oh, hey, Lizzie,” I greeted her. “How are you?”
“Nina.” Lizzie’s voice was quiet. “I have a boyfriend, Nina. John kissed me. He told me that he loves me and I told him that I love him too. We’re together now. I’m his girlfriend and he’s my boyfriend. I love him.”
Gasping, my eyes widened with excitement.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” I gushed. “Congratulations, Lizzie. That’s really great. Is this official? Can I tell Mum and Dad?”
“Yes, it’s official, of course it’s official,” Lizzie insisted, “but I don’t really know if I want Aunty Greta and Uncle Leo to know just yet.”
I wanted to ask her why, because I didn’t have any secrets about my relationship with Geoff. They were my family, after all. Yet, I could still understand why John wouldn’t quite gel with Lizzie and our family. He was charming, but I could often see through it.
“Alright,” I agreed with a cheeky smile, even though Lizzie couldn’t see it. “I think that we should celebrate – you, me, John, Geoff, let’s celebrate.”
“Alright,” Lizzie agreed with vigour. “I’ll see you in half an hour, hey?”
“Sounds good,” I agreed.
I didn’t tell Lizzie that I would have to check with Mum first. She would have only mocked me, even however playfully.
“See you then.” I ended the call and placed the phone back in the cradle.
I ambled back down the hallway as Mum carried the washing basket back up the steps.
“Lizzie invited us to go out with her tonight,” I mentioned. “Is that alright?”
“Where are you off to?” Mum wanted to know.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I think that Lizzie usually likes to go into town, into the inner west and such.”
Abbey Sim is the founder of Huldah Media. She is a creative writing, law and theology student who lives on the lands of the Dharug people in Sydney, Australia. Abbey desires to explore themes of hope, love and longing through her storytelling. She is the author of 'Shadow' and 'From the Wild'.