Drama Romance

“Here you go dear,” 

“Thank you, Mrs Evans”

“No problem darling, if need any help, don’t be afraid to ask.”

With a nod, the young woman closed the door. Hearing the elderly land-lady scurrying back down the stairs, Mia sighed in relief. Placing her worn duffle bag on the polished floor, she stepped carefully into the apartment. It was exactly as she remembered, when they had come to look at it, covered in dust and bathed in a gentle glow from the open skylight. Carefully she tucked the keys into her pocket and watched gently as the child in her carrier stirred softly in her sleep, making a soft sound, before stilling again. She couldn’t help but smile. She was finally here. Alex might not be, but he would be soon. Placing the carrier down, she spun softly head tilted and eyes closed, taking in the magic of the moment.

It didn’t feel like home, not yet. Over the next few weeks, she worked on the cobwebs and dust that seemed to have crammed itself into every crevice in the apartment. Even filthy and musty, it was better than her home, a place of her own, all to herself. But it didn’t feel like home. Her boxes had arrived only a few days after her, what little she actually owned had fit in one small taxi. Alex had helped find furniture, on one of those rare weekends he could run back to her. When she unpacked, he left little gifts in every draw. The things she never could afford, like jewels and dresses and pretty little trinkets.

The neighbour seemed nice enough. A lovely older lady, Evelyn (she had insisted) , lived on the bottom floor just next to Mrs Evans (‘Gloria, Dear’ she always said, ‘there’s no need for formalities’ ). On the next floor up, one below her, there was two young men. They couldn’t be much older than her, which was nice enough, but she kept mostly to herself. 

Alex came and went. That was what made all the time he was there so precious, those little photos that hung all-round the apartment, like that time he had fallen asleep with Emmy sleeping on him or when an attempt at pancakes had ended in a snowy battle ground scattered with the remains of eggs and sugar. 

The neighbours began to talk, which was no surprise. When they had first invited her to a summer party, there had been the onslaught of usual questions; Where did you grow up? Didn’t you go to university? Where do you work? How are you finding the little one? Why did you choses to have a child so young? Who’s the father? She did feel like an imposter in their tightknit community, which just made it even harder. 

Within a few month’s she had begun to explore the surrounding area, out as far as the park, about 30minutes walk. There was a lovely little café a couple of streets down that sold the sweetest croissants you have ever taste, she told Alex the next time he came, I would have bought some if I had the time this morning. He laughed softly at the excitement in her voice and pulled her into his embrace. “I wish I could come with you, but I don’t want to put you in danger, my darling,” he said, gazing at her fondly. She scoffed softly but didn’t protest when he switched on her favourite film and curled up with her on the new sofa.

It was nearly a month before Alex could find more than a few stolen hours for them. He had stayed for a few nights now, and she couldn’t be happier waking up next to him. It was on the third morning that everything had gone wrong. It was all because of milk. 

“Darling?” he said as she walked into the kitchen, his eyes still half closed in sleep. She hummed in acknowledgement from where she was slouched against the counter sipping her tea. “we’re out of milk.”

“Are we? I thought I picked some up yesterday.” She replied, furrowing her brow.

“we have almond milk but none of the normal stuff, its fine I could just run out and get some.”

“it’s fine, I’ll go, people won’t notice me.”

Alex sighed softly before nodding, “okay, but make sure you wrap up, it’ll be cold out there.” 

“it’s only September,” she said, laughing fondly when he pouted and kissed her forehead.

She still ended up wearing the hoodie he handed her, not noticing the writing on the back. Smiling at Ms Evans (Gloria, she had to remind herself) she took the stairs to the back door. Walking through the neighbourhood, she watched as all the other apartments, alive with people already up and working. It was already 10 O’clock but they had only just woken up.

When she had bought the milk, she went to leave the store but was stopped by a crowd of people swarming towards her. They seemed like news reporters, followed by big cameras and they thrust their microphones in her face, yelling questions as they surrounded her. Overwhelmed she stepped back but was found herself trapped by a wall of bodies, suffocatingly close. Pulling her hands over her ears, she tried to curl in on herself, an attempt at stopping the tremors that ran through her hands. 

The noise just wouldn’t stop. 

Quickly there were hands pulling her through the crowd and lifting her into a car, jolting harshly when the engine sprung to life, she shrunk away from the hands that grabbed her own. “Mia, hey, it’s okay, it’s just me.” Alex said, “open your eyes darling, there you go,” Blinking back the tears, she curled into him, clutching his t-shirt. “Your still wearing Pjs,” she breathed, laughter bubbling despite it all. He smiled back, tilting her head so he could place a kiss gently one her lips. “And you, my dear, are wearing my hoodie…”

Secret lover of Crown Prince Alexander, Mia Campbell spotted at the local supermarket…

October 23, 2020 21:23

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