If You Believe in Me
Six Months Later...
‘How did you fit all that furniture into a van?’ I ask.
The massive moving lorry makes its way slowly up the narrow London street. I’m already cringing, waiting for the screech as it scrapes at least one parked car lining the street. Somehow, it pulls to a stop with every car miraculously unharmed.
‘I told you she went to her watery grave years ago,’ Ben grins. ‘Please don’t bring up tragic memories.’ He hugs me from behind, giving my neck a little nibble that sends shockwaves through me as the moving guys start to leap out of the gigantic truck.
We’re standing on the front step of his great-uncle’s — well, his — incredible townhouse at the edge of Hampstead heath. Ben has been living with Maz and me for months while we renovate it. Turns out, he started flipping properties a few months after I left Australia and now owns a pretty successful company offering restorations and modernizations, but we decided that we wanted to do this one by ourselves. We’ve pulled back ratty old carpets to reveal stunning original hardwood floors. We very nearly drowned ourselves thinking we could install a new bathroom alone before sheepishly turning to a plumber. We hacked away at the jungle of weeds in the back garden until an idyllic haven of wildflowers and herbs started to emerge.
It has been exhausting, maddening, and the happiest months of my life. We’ve had so much fun, the three of us, but I think Maz is quite looking forward to getting us out her hair when we finally move in this week. And I’m definitely looking forward to it just being the two of us.
When I got home that evening to find him sitting on our sofa waiting for me, I didn’t say a word. I just walked over and climbed onto his lap, straddling him and kissing him deeply, letting my body say all the things I didn’t know how to. We did talk, eventually, afterward. We’ve barely stopped since.
We’ve chatted from dawn to dusk and beyond while sanding floors and painting walls, and tearing out weeds. Learning everything about each other, catching up on all we missed during our years apart. That intense, wild feeling that we’d die if we spent a second apart has begun to mature, deepening into a solid and lasting bond.
Tonight we’re going to spend our first night in our new home together, and tomorrow we will get on with our happy ever after.