Today was Friday, June 10th, and it was our last day of school. I was beyond excited. I could barely sit still through my classes all day, and when the final bell finally rang, I bolted out of my seat and through the main doors of the school, relishing the beautiful sunshine outside. Lucy followed me out, laughing. She held my books in her hand, and all of the other stuff I had gathered from my locker and put in a box on the ground.
“Here,” She said, laughing and handing me the box. I took it and raced to her car. We shoved ourselves in and Lucy started the car.
“We’re finally done with school!” I said.
“We still have one more year until we graduate, Morg,” Lucy said.
“Don’t dampen my mood. Just let me be happy,” I said, pouting at her. She laughed again.
“Okay, okay, fine,” she said. “we’re done with school!” Soon she pulled into the driveway at my house.
“Thanks for the ride, Luce!” I said.
“No problem. See you tomorrow!” I waved at her until I couldn’t see her car anymore, then I walked into my house, plopping my bookbag on the counter and loosening the tie of my stiff uniform.
“Hello?” I called into the empty house. There was no answer. Weird. Asa and the girls were usually home from house-hunting by now. I shrugged and headed to my room to change out of my uniform. I changed into a t-shirt and jean shorts, and then I pulled my sweaty hair into two tight french braids that kept it off my neck.
“Morgan?” I heard someone call out.
“Up here!” I called back, making my way downstairs. Asa intercepted me on the stairs and he stopped me with a kiss. When we pulled back, he said,
“I have amazing news. Come downstairs!” I followed him to the living room where the girls were sitting on the couch, bouncing with excitement.
“What’s up?” I asked, plopping on the couch in-between Lizzie and Ellie.
“We found a house!” the girls finally burst out, not being able to contain their excitement.
“Really?” I asked. My emotions a mix of ecstatic excitement and sadness. They nodded, and Asa said,
“We found one in the new apartment complex, one that I’ll be able to afford. It’s small, only two bedrooms and one bathroom, and a small kitchen and living room, but it’ll be ours!” I smiled at him.
“I’m so happy for you, Asa,” I said, hugging him.
“And the best part…” He trailed off, his eyes twinkling.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s only about a five-minute walk from here!” My tight smile grew bigger at those words. “So we’ll still be close to you.”
“Can I see it?” I asked. Asa nodded.
“We were planning on you asking about that. Also, I got the day off from your mom so we can go do whatever we want!”
I was so excited for Asa and his sisters. One drawback that we had found during this house hunting is that Asa could not rent an apartment until he was 18. He had waited painstakingly for that day, which had happened a couple of weeks ago, and then he hunted all the more fervently until he found the perfect apartment to house his little family. I had never seen anyone more hardworking in all my 17 years (yes, my birthday was a few days ago). He even had a whole beautiful party planned out for the twins’ seventh birthday in a few weeks.
“Let’s go see our house!” Ellie said, pulling my hand and snapping me out of my trance. I giggled and followed her, slipping on my Vans by the door while she pulled my hand in the direction of the new apartment complex that was built recently on the edge of my neighborhood. Ellie and Lizzie pulled me up the exterior stairs and I followed to a door at the end of the hall, tucked into a corner. They looked at Asa expectantly and he pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the door. The apartment had very modern furnishings, but they weren’t expensive things. The living room, which the door opened into, had white carpet and light grey walls. In the kitchen, the countertops were marble, the cabinets dark wood. The light fixtures were black, and the walls were a light grey, matching the walls of the living room. I followed the girls as they led me into their bedroom, the seemingly larger one.
“The walls in here are gray, but Asa said that we could paint them whatever color we wanted when we move in. I want to paint them pink,” Ellie said. I smiled at her.
“No, they’re going to be yellow!” Lizzie said.
“No, pink!” Ellie shot back.
“Girls, girls, maybe we can compromise and have two walls yellow and two walls pink?” I asked them, quieting their fight. They nodded.
“That seems...okay,” Lizzie said. “But my side of the room is going to be the one with yellow walls!” I laughed at her.
“When are you actually moving in?” I asked Asa.
“In a few days, we’re going to need to get furniture first though. I don’t know where we’ll find good quality furniture for cheap, though,” He said, raising a hand to scratch the back of his neck, a nervous habit of this that I’d noticed he did quite often.
“It’ll be fine. Plus, I’m sure Linda and Robert (yes, she got a new husband) would love to help out. You know how much Robert adores you,” I said. About two months ago Linda and Richard had divorced. It turns out that Linda had been seeing Robert behind Richard’s back for a whole two years, and when Richard found out, he was quick to leave. Linda married Robert two weeks after she divorced Richard. Robert was a handsome millionaire, with a passion for homeless kids. so, naturally, as soon as he met the Gallagher kids, he was quick to do anything he could to help. He pestered me constantly about marrying Asa because he wanted these kids in his family. I had come to like Robert, and he was the closest thing to a father figure I’d had since my father died. He even played football with me and Asa from time to time. His taking a liking to me and the Gallaghers had led to Linda being more kind to me, and I couldn’t imagine a happier life than the one I had now.
“Yes, I know he adores us, but you said you’d only help me until we got a house,” Asa said. “I don’t want to force you to help us anymore,” Asa said.
“I’m helping you get furniture, and that’s final,” I said. “Maybe then I’ll be done helping you.”
“Fine but don’t do anything drastic,” Asa said.
“Don’t worry,” I replied, pulling out my phone to call Robert.
“Hello? Morgan?” He said when he picked up. “Is anything wrong?”
“No, nothing’s wrong, it’s just, we need some help,” I said.
“What do you need help with?” Robert asked.
“So, I’m at Asa’s new apartment...yes, he found one! Isn’t that exciting? Anyway, I’m at his apartment and he needs furniture for it. I was hoping you’d help us find furniture tomorrow?”
“Of course I’ll help. Does he just need furniture or does he need appliances too?” Robert asked.
“Just furniture, thank the Lord, there’s already appliances here,” I said.
“Sounds like we’re going on a shopping spree tomorrow!” Robert said
I laughed. “Sounds like it.” then I hung up. “So, we’re going to shop for furniture tomorrow,” I said to Asa and the girls. Asa sighed but didn’t protest. Lizzie and Ellie started doing a happy dance around the room we were in, their room.
“We’re going shopping tomorrow. We’re going shopping tomorrow,” they sang.
“Okay, girls, how about we go get ice cream now?” I asked.
“Yay!” They cheered and ran out of the apartment.
I took Asa’s hand and followed the girls out.
“How do you know exactly what to say to them every time?” he asked, looking down at me. I shrugged.
“Must be a gift,” I said, pulling him out of the room after the girls. We hurried to a nearby ice cream parlor and ordered. Asa pulled out a few bills and laid them on the counter to pay for the ice cream.
“Hey!” I protested.
“Consider it a late-birthday happy last day of school present,” Asa said, and smacked my hand away from where I was trying to replace his bills with my own.
“Fine.” I sighed and let him pay for our ice cream. We found a table outside and started discussing what furniture we would need for the apartment.
“Girls, do you want bunk beds or separate beds?” I asked. They considered it for a moment and I said, “There would be more room for dancing around if you had bunk beds.” that seemed to sell them and I wrote it on my list. In the end, the list of furniture that we would need came out to be:
Small kitchen table
Four dining chairs
Couch, maybe loveseat?
1 queen-sized bed, along with box springs
Lots of hangers
Other kitchen tools