I wander aimlessly from room to room. Kyle has gone, Lucy has moved out, and Ben is leaving very soon. The echoes of laughter left the house years ago, but now people are leaving too. It is not sad, not really. It is just empty and pointless. Ben’s words keep playing in my head. There is nothing left for me here, is there, Maddy? So true and yet so final. And as I look at the grey and cloudy sky and watch the wind lashing at my garden, I am at a total loss of what to do with myself. .... Then I hear the door. ‘It’s only me!’ And Cindy comes waltzing in.
She has a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates and a packet of tissues. Always prepared. I smile, looking at her pouring the wine.
She passes the glass and explains that really there is no way she would hear a no. She has to go away for work to a lovely tropical place, ‘so why don’t you come with me? We can make it into a longish holiday and soak up a bit of winter sun?’
‘Why not indeed!?’ I surprise her with my answer. I can see she was prepared for a long-drawn-out fight persuading me and is taken aback by my reply.
‘Oh. Well. That’s settled then. Do you have any summer clothes? If not, you can borrow some of mine. I doubt you’d find anything in the shops at this time of the year, other than scarves and jumpers.’
‘I should still have some, I’ll be fine. When are we leaving?’
‘What is it with you people and giving me no notice at all these days?’ I try to look cross, but excitement is showing in my eyes.
‘Good. I’ll sort out the tickets and all. You just have to bring yourself. I’ll do the rest. Need to shoot now. I’ll ring you tomorrow with the details.’
And she leaves her empty wine glass on my coffee table, picks up her coat and lets herself out of my house. I stay on the sofa, sipping the rest of the wine and daydreaming. Now, Sri Lanka…. Where the hell is it??