I tapped my foot, staring through the glass doors. Though I’d planned to pick Tommy up at the airport, he’d called me a short while ago with surprising news; he had caught an earlier flight and was already at the airport, waiting for a cab to my house. I wish he’d told me about the flight change; I’d wanted to see him as soon as he landed in Newcrest. After five months of phone calls, I could hardly contain how excited I was to see him again.
Finally, the cab pulled up in front of the house. As soon as I saw Tommy’s blond head emerge from the car, I took off through the double doors. I flew down the steps, across the grass, and threw myself into his arms.
He laughed, holding me tightly. “Did you miss me? I can’t tell.”
I kissed him. “Of course I missed you.”
“I missed you, too.”
I wanted to stay right where I was for the foreseeable future, but Tommy’s bags needed unloading and the meter was still running. With great reluctance, I stepped back. “Let me help you get your things.”
We carried his luggage up to one of the spare rooms. I’d been a little tempted to have him stay in my room, but I’d ultimately decided against it. Foremost, Mama might actually have an aneurism if I tried such a thing. And, well, we’d made it this long. We could wait to get reacquainted until we were in our own place. Which, hopefully, would be very soon. I wouldn’t deny it; I missed that part of our relationship.
“Are you hungry? That plane food couldn’t have been very good.”
Tommy smiled. “I could eat, if you feel like cooking.”
I took his hand, leading him back down the stairs. “I’ll make chicken saltimbocca. It’s something new I’ve been tweaking. You’ll love it.”
“I love everything you make, Loralee. That hasn’t changed.”
I grinned, walking over to the fridge as if I were walking on air. It felt so good to have Tommy back. “I should hope not or you’ll be in for a rough time.” As I got out the cutting board, I looked over at him. “So, I have to warn you, my parents may not be the happiest to see you.”
“Not too happy about our move?”
“Yeah, not so much. Mom’s sort of okay with it, but Mama is still pretty upset.” She had apologized to me and promised to be supportive, but she obviously disapproved.
He got up from the bar and came over to slide his arms around my waist. His lips pressed against my neck. “I’ve been living in Windenburg; I’m used to the cold.”
“Good,” I snorted. “Mama’s going to be downright frigid.”
“Wow, that was awkward,” Tommy said under his breath as we descended the front steps.
“Even worse than dinner last night,” I agreed. I’d made lunch for Tommy, Mama, and myself. Without Mom there as a buffer, the meal had been tense and silent. I’d half expected it to begin snowing over the dining table.
“On the bright side, we’ll both warm up as soon as we’re in Oasis Springs.” We were headed there now to look at the place Tommy had his eye on.
I walked over to the car. “Is the realtor meeting us there?”
“Yeah, she’ll be there to let us in.” He went around and got into the passenger seat. “Ready?”
I smiled and started the engine. “Yep.” Time to go to the place that could be my new home.
Dear Watcher, I could not live here.
As soon as I’d seen the exterior of the trailer – not a house, a trailer – I’d had my doubts. But I’d tried to keep my mind open. It could be nice on the inside, right?
Wrong. So, so wrong.
The interior was composed of only two rooms, a bed/kitchen/living room hybrid and a bathroom off to the right. I was a little surprised it wasn’t just cordoned off by a curtain. And that was it. I couldn’t even say where I was standing. Was it the kitchen? The living room? Who knew.
“Now, I know it doesn’t look like much,” the realtor said in a too-sugary voice, “but this is a great location. This neighborhood has really been on the rise recently; in a few years, this place will easily sell for at least five thousand over the current price.” She beamed at the two of us. “And, as you can see, it even comes partially furnished.” She was obviously trying hard to make a sale; if I had to guess, I’d bet this place had been on her hands for a long time.
I don’t think this trailer can get more furnished than this. I tried to hide how I felt about this place and smiled politely at her. “Could I have a minute alone with Tommy?”
Her bright smile somehow got even brighter. The only bright thing in this room, actually. “Certainly! I’ll be right outside if you have any questions.”
“I know it’s not much,” Tommy said quickly, “but we can fix it up, you know? And maybe, in a few years, we can find something better, after we’ve both got real jobs.”
“Why don’t we find something better now?” Something that didn’t smell like feet. “I’ve got some money.” I held up one hand, halting the words I could see forming on his lips. “It’s my money, from Simmie’s, not from my parents. I’ve been saving for years. I want to help with this.”
He smiled slowly. “Really? You don’t have to, you know.”
“I’ve been planning to since you asked me to move in with you.” I smiled and leaned in to kiss him. “This is going to be our home, after all.” And, really, if I hadn’t planned to help pay for our place before, this would’ve inspired me to do so.
He grinned broadly. “Let’s go find something in our new price range, then.” He turned to look at me as we went to the door. “How much do you have, anyway?”
I smiled broadly as I told him. I wished I had a picture of the way his eyes widened.
“Okay,” the realtor said as she stepped into the house, flipping on the lights. “Now, remember, it isn’t furnished, so you’ll have to use your imagination.”
It couldn’t possibly be worse than the other place and this house was still well enough under budget that furnishing it wouldn’t be a problem.
I walked inside and looked around the modest space. Though I was able to contribute several thousand more simoleons to the house fund, I didn’t have that much money, so our pickings were still rather slim. This was the third house we’d seen, and it looked to be the best. The front room was open and bright, thanks to the large front windows, not claustrophobic like the trailer had been. The bathroom was small, but at least it had a tub, not just a dingy stall shower. The real selling point was the bedroom, though. It was relatively spacious, painted a pleasant blue, and had an actual closet.
Tommy walked over to where I stood in the center of what would be the living room. “What do you think?”
I smiled at him. “I love it.”