She’d made the train with minutes to spare, thankfully it wasn’t full. She was easily able to find room for her suitcase and a window seat for herself. The advantage of moving to more internationally-focused hours for work, she was able to do things, like the big final move to her new home, during quiet times such as early Friday afternoon.
Her phone rang and she checked the caller ID, then answered, “Hey Cesca, I’m on the train, all good.”
Her best friend exhaled loudly, “I’m glad you made it with no last minute hiccups but do you really have to move three hours away from me? I’m taking this personally chick.”
“Hey, I’m your personal country escape hotel remember? I expect you down for weekends, especially in summer so we can sit in the back garden and drink way too much gin.”
“Oh, okay, you’re forgiven then. More seriously though, are you absolutely sure this is what you want? It’s such a massive switch of pace and lifestyle.”
“Not that much of one really, I’ve been stuck at home doing not terribly much for the past year or more, now this is MY home, in MY choice of location and I can choose how I spend my evenings and weekends without having to worry about anyone else or their mothers. I honestly feel so free right now I could fly.”
“When you put it like that, who am I to worry. But promise if you’re ever not happy or not comfortable or bored or anything, you’ll come visit and spend as long as you want in my spare room.”
“Deal, although I do honestly think you’re going to be spending a lot more time in my spare room than me in yours.”
Cesca laughed, “Okay, I’ll be down in three weeks, with gin, so you can show off your new domestic bliss and make me suitably jealous.”
She hung up and Ally settled back to enjoy the trip home. The city thinned and changed into green countryside, that morphed into towns and then back out to green as the trip went on. Eventually, the call for her station come over the loudspeaker and she moved to collect her suitcase.
Pulling in to the platform, butterflies in her stomach, she couldn’t remember the last time she had this feeling of happy anticipation. It reminded her of childhood holidays and treats. Timothy would frown at such an immature feeling, but he was now in the past and thinking of him was no way to enjoy her first journey home.
Home. Even though it was new (to her, the cottage itself was a sturdy construct of at least two hundred years’ vintage), it had felt like hers the minute she’d walked in the front door six weeks before. Thankfully the couple selling the cottage felt the same way and, being on their way to retirement near their daughter in New Zealand, the usual complications of waiting on other offers and sales before people could move were completely absent and the sale went through quickly and smoothly.
She had come down the previous weekend to set up most of the furniture and had asked the local woman who had previously cleaned for the Johnsons to stay on in that capacity and, as a special favour, drop by on Friday morning with basic groceries.
She came out of the station and paused, looking for a taxi, when she heard a halloooo and saw that wonderful woman, Mrs Rightmore, waving enthusiastically beside a little silver hatchback parked nearby.
“I’m so glad you mentioned which train you’d be on. Taxis are a nightmare to come by this time of day and I’ve been so looking forward to welcoming you properly to the village. Now pop your suitcase in the back and we can be off.”