It’s morning. Early. Far too early to be awake on a Saturday morning. I’m not really awake anyway. I’m in and out of dreams and I’m opening and closing my eyes and I’m listening for the kids and I’m ignoring them. I am yes and I am no. Story of my bloody life.
The girls run into the bedroom. Their feet pounding on the floor. Their voices high and loud and excited. They’re already dressed, and they’re wearing their new princess crowns and they want to know what time they’re going to Granny’s and they want us to please get up and make them their bekfreast. I always smile at bekfreast.
I’m awake now, truly awake. I have no choice in the matter. I hear the rain on the roof overhead. I see my infant son sleeping on my left, my pyjama shirt unbuttoned, my breast resting at his chin. No point putting it away now. I stretch my legs and I curl my toes, and I look to my right, and there’s a man. A handsome man. A handsome man who is my husband and the father of my children. He is the man who saved me.
My husband shuffles over, draws his body close to mine. He drapes his arm over me. He doesn’t recoil at my wobbly bits. He holds me tight. He is wishing me a good morning. He is speaking without words. I turn my face to his, our eyes half open, and as I kiss his lips I remember…
I walk into the lounge, my expectations high, and I look around in shock. Horror. Disappointment. My flatmate promised me a house full of guys, his entire soccer team, and he told me I should be there. He implied that I might meet someone. He made it sound like I was going to be able to take my pick from a group of 20 hot, muscley men. This is not what I had anticipated.
I join the circle, kneeling on the floor, clutching my vodka, scanning the room, pretending not to scan the room. My friend Amanda is here too, she came for the guys, and we glance at each other and I see my own thoughts reflected in her face. These are not men. This is not what we’d been hoping for.
I’m gulping down my drink, I can excuse myself once it’s gone, when I see him, tucked away in the corner, a huge bottle of cider in his hand. His hair is black, his eyes are dark, his skin is tan and clear and fresh. He's not beefy, but he's lean and he's toned, and he’s not quite a man, but he sure is handsome. He sure is the most appealing guy in the entire room.
He’s talking with his friends, talking and laughing, and he hasn’t seen me. Doesn’t know I’m staring. Probably hasn’t even realised I’ve entered the room, but it doesn’t matter. None of that matters. I’ve seen him now and my mind is made up.
“That one there, in the corner,” I say to Amanda, “he’s mine.”