The delivery truck outside starts to make a strange beeping noises as it reverses into the drive. I watch from the window as Mum beckons for it to continue going, before waving her arms around frantically as it runs over a flower pot and shatters it into a million pieces. Her reaction is only small - a little sigh - before she starts to load the back of it.
I stay in my room and watch from the window, not daring to help. If I help, Mum will believe that I want to move to Canada and I don't. I want her to know how much I hate the idea; I want her to know how much I hate Canada; I want her to know how much I hate her.
Harsh, I know, but it needs to be said ...
I turn away from the window and peer at my now deserted room. It's so bare; empty; robbed of all my belongings. I don't like it. I want all my posters back on the walls; I want all my books back on my bookshelf; I want my life to remain here. In England. But noooo, Mum wants to move in with her boyfriend in Canada; she wants to ruin my life; she wants me to be unhappy.
"Hey ... Um, do you know where your mum is?" I peer over my shoulder and at the devil himself; Stan. Stan's my mum's boyfriend; we're moving into his house (in Canada ...). He's got shoulder length hair; his eyes are a dark husky colour. His lips are drawn into a weak smile; his clothes are a few sizes too big for him. He looks down at his feet sheepishly as I glare. I don't reply. "I - Um ..." He scratches the back of his neck and then tilts his head to aside. "Maia - I -"
"No, don't 'Maia' me! You're making us move! Why would you make us move? I don't want to move!" His eyes fill up with tears; I never thought I'd see the day where I made a fully grown man cry, but I don't comfort him. I cross my arms over my chest and level my gaze to his. He flinches away, trying to blink away the tears. "I - Um. I'm sorry. ... But your mum -"
"Get out my room."
"Where is your mum-"
He bows his head and ducks out of the door quickly, not daring to look up from the ground. I watch him leave, guiltily, before turning back to the window. It takes a few seconds for Stan to get down the stairs, before he stumbles over to Mum. They embrace tightly, maybe a few seconds too long, before pulling away. Stan glances up at me; Mum copies him. I know they're talking about me without having to lipread.
Mum shoots me a glare and I return it just as fiercely before turning away and flopping down on my stripped bed, exhausted. There's no way to convince mum I want to stay. I guess this is it ...
I'm moving to Canada ...
Yay. (That's sarcastic by the way!)
"Welcome home, guys." Stan laughs, grabbing a cardboard boxes and taking mum's hand with his spare hand. I glance down at their entwined fingers and then force myself to look away.
The house is a lot bigger than our house back in England; it's prettier as well, but I don't admit it. It's big but not that big, if you understand what I mean (you probably don't ...). There's a garage beside the house; there's an apple tree growing to my right. Squished between the far side of the house and the hedge separating the neighbors to us, is a little door which I assumes leads to the garden. To be honest, It would be nice to have a garden ... In our old house -no, my normal house. Not old. It's my real house; nothing can replace it ...-, the garden was barely a meter in width; you couldn't fit a plant pot in our garden let alone a pond or a swing.
I force myself to turn away and grab my suitcase. I pull it out of the truck and glance up at Mum. She's too busy bear hugging Stan to notice me. I swallow hard and direct my gaze to the ground.
This is where I'll die. I think miserbly. In some strangers house.
Someone puts a hand on my elbow.
"Maia? ... Do - do you like it?" Mum. I turn my head slightly towards her. She clings onto Stan's chest but her gaze is locked on me for once. I shrug my shoulders in response and direct my gaze back to the house. Stan looks hurt at my silent reply, but forces a smile.
"This way then girls." He announces, trying to lift the spirits. He leads Mum and I into the house. As soon as I step past the threshold, the heating pricks at my skin and the smell of pancakes fills my nostrils. I dampen my lips in hunger; I haven't eaten since we left the house. I'm now starving. Of course I don't say this, and follow Stan through the house and towards the wooden stairs.
I glance up it as Stan points upwards.
"Up the stairs, along the corridor and the first door to the right is your room. You can go check it out now if you want?" I nod and glance back up the stairs. I start up them, tugging the suitcase up as well, but Stan pries it out of my grip and settles it down under the stairs. "Don't worry about your bags; we'll unpack you guys later, OK?" I nod, refusing to look at him, before treading carefully up the stairs. I find my room with, some, ease.
I step into it and glance around.
It's bare; the walls and ceiling are painted a pale white. The bed needs bed sheets; the walls need to be covered in posters, or to be painted in a more appealing colour. The light shade is a boring pale colour as well; I need to make space for my bookshelf and I desperately need to lighten this place up a lot more.
To my surprise, the window ledge is the only thing that looks nice. It could be described as a sofa; the beautiful, soft leather has been cleaned and wiped down from dust; the view portrays a large garden with a swing and a massive oak tree in the middle. I take a moment to pause and admire the garden, despite the dark clouds above trying to ruin the picture. I keep hold of the image for as long as I can before someone finally clears their throat.
"Like it? I was going to paint the walls, but I didn't know what you liked so I guess we can paint it in a few days, yeah?" I shrug and glance over at Stan. Mum is, of course, clinging to his side still. She looks around the room, smiling to herself, and then gives me a warning look. I know that look. It's the 'say something nice you, ungrateful girl'. I don't give her the satisfaction of winning; I shrug again, letting her face fall murderous for a second. Stan glances at me and then down at Mum. Her face changes in seconds.
"It's beautiful!" She says. "Maia is a very lucky girl, aren't you Maia?" I just bow my head and turn back to the window. I hear her sigh before then the sound of retreating footsteps fill the room. I listen to them as they head towards 'their' room.
I try not to gag at the thought of my mum sleeping beside someone like him, and start to check out my wardrobe space.