Our relationship. It wasn't sonnet inspiring, the story of it won't make thousands want to listen. But it was complicated and it was special to us. It was certainly more than I bargained for from just seeing a boy with a football helmet across the room.


2. Two

The first thing I notice about Austin is the heat. It's nearing the end of August now and in the UK it's when it would start to be getting a little cooler but here it's still hot and dry, hotter than it's ever been in the UK even in the middle of summer. Seeing as our new house is brand new, it already came with furniture but we still need to add so much to make it feel like a proper home.

Still, it's more than good enough for us to stay there the night we get there. This is what's considered a normal sized house here in America but it seems huge to me. It's not that there's a lot of rooms because there's just a living room, a kitchen, a dining room and three bedrooms but there's just so much space and the garden is huge which seems like kind of a waste since none of us ever spent time in our garden back home. It is weird falling asleep that night though. I'm just here in a place I've never even visited before and now it's my home.

The next day is hectic. We want it to feel like a home here as soon as possible so we go out early in the morning and rush around so many stores and then spend the rest of the day painting, wallpapering, setting up TV's, putting up paintings, making beds. By the end of the day everything's practically perfect. The only thing this house needs now is just to be lived in. 

"I feel good about being here." Mum says when we all finally sit down at around eight that night. 

"Me too." Dad says, smiling at her. 

There's a knock at the door and it makes me jump because I have no idea who could possibly be here but then my mum answers the door and there's laughing and 'good to see you!'s and my dad is jumping up and I realise it must be Brie and Daniel. I awkwardly hover behind them, not wanting to be rude by not saying hello but also not wanting to intrude but then Brie squeals when she sees me, pulling me into a big hug. Although it's kind of uncomfortable, it's also better than it being purely awkward. 

"Hello dear!" she exclaims. "Alice! The last time I saw a picture of you you were what?"

"Thirteen." my mum smiles fondly at us. 

"Thirteen! And you're sixteen now? Gosh, you look like you're twenty one! You're just stunning. Anna, she is stunning."

"Thank you." I laugh a little, blushing. Daniel steps forward, holding his hand out and giving me a smile too. He's a friendly looking man. They're both very friendly actually which is nice. 

"Well we came over to invite you for dinner, we know you've been working hard all day and the last thing you want to do is cook." Brie says.

"We aren't cooking either." Daniel reminds her, laughing. 

"Well no, we've ordered pizzas, but why not have them with wine and friends?" Brie grins. "Come on over, we have a lot to catch up on."

It's nice to be in their house. They've lived here for a long time so it's a proper home. It's very different to even our home back in England, it's so colourful, every room is a different colour and it makes it feel so homely. The hallway is red, we go past the study which is purple, through the kitchen which is pink, through the dining room which is an emerald green and into the living room which is yellow. I love the yellow, it's so sunny and it's one of those rooms where you feel like you could sit in it forever.

After we've finished eating, we sit with glasses of wine (with lemonade for me) talking for hours. It's mainly the adults talking and me just chiming in every now and again but at one point Brie turns the conversation towards me. 

"Alice, do you have a boyfriend back in the UK?" she asks. 

"No." I laugh, shaking my head. 

"That's unbelievable!" she exclaims and my mum laughs. 

"She's been asked out plenty but she always says no!" she says.

"Because everybody who asks me out is weird." I point out and Brie rolls her eyes. 

"That's just English boys for you, I bet." she winks. "You'll find somebody out here."

"No no no." my dad shakes his head. "I'm not ready for boyfriends yet."

"She's sixteen!" Brie protests but then sighs wistfully. "They do grow up fast though don't they? Harry, my boy, he's a year older than you Alice but I still see him as this little boy who loves Spiderman. I mean, he still loves all the superhero films, but he doesn't pretend to be them anymore." she says and I laugh. "But here he is, not a little boy, going out with all his friends. That's where he is now actually, an end of summer party. But I still feel like he should be here, tucked into bed while the grown ups talk."

At the end of the night once we're back in our own house and I'm in bed, I feel less nervous about being here. I know Brie and Daniel aren't my friends but it's nice that they're my parents' friends. It feels less like we've been thrown into this whole thing. 

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