07.32 1st October
There was nothing like the lure of a warm bed on a Saturday morning – there was no alarm ringing, no need to be anywhere. The only place you needed to be was bed. That was even more so when your dreams contained some very wet, scantily dressed brunettes covered in cherry flavoured jelly, promising to do things that may well land one in jail in several countries. There was a nudge on Matt’s shoulder and some mutterings that he was trying desperately to ignore. Just five more minutes and he was certain his day could start with some morning delight. The nudging now turned to tapping and the mutterings had manifested themselves as commands.
‘Mmmm, Matt. Mitzy’s at the door. It’s your turn this week,’ Abbey said, stroking Matt’s shin with her toes. If she wanted him to get out of bed faster that wasn’t the way to do it.
‘Couple more minutes,’ Matt moaned.
‘She’s been there for a while. They’ll just be more to clean up if you leave her.’
Matt knew Abbey was right and looking round he could no longer see the barely dressed brunettes. The moment had, as always, passed. He sat up, threw off the covers and dropped his feet to the floor. Abbey’s methodical serene rhythmic breathing made him feel the urge to lie back down. Under lashings of brown hair that covered the cream sheets he could see Abbey had fallen asleep. Looking at how deeply asleep she was it was remarkable she had managed to cohesively kick Matt out of bed. He put his slippers on and walked towards the panting on the other side of the door. No sooner had he opened it, did Mitzy start running in small circles ready for her walk. He stroked her warm head gliding down to her thick brown fur covering her body. She settled and sat outside the bedroom door while Matt went to the bathroom. If someone had told him five years ago he’d be married, wearing slippers and getting up at some God forsaken hour on Saturday to walk a chocolate brown Labrador called Mitzy, he would have laughed. It’s funny how life turns out.
Matt got dressed into baggy grey joggers with an oversized T-shirt, and was just having a quick swig of water before getting his trainers and a fleece. There was a knock at the door, and his mind instantly jumped to whether it was the alloys he’d been waiting for. It wasn’t even eight yet, so surely not. Mitzy was still running circles ready to go for a walk. He stroked her back, to try to calm her. Walking toward the door, it occurred to him it might be may be the homeless man from down the street who had recently taken to knocking on doors after finding that he was largely ignored if he sat stationary, or worse still a Jehovah’s witness, although both seemed hopefully unlikely at this time of the morning. The door was boarded up where the previous glass pane had sat, after some kids had managed to put a golf ball through it last week. Matt had wondered what on earth kids were doing playing golf, what had happened to the more normal sports like basketball or football. He supposed nowadays they preferred carrying golf clubs, as some sort of intimidation to passers-by. Given the state of recent events perhaps everyone should carry some sort of bats as protection or for hunting purposes. He had just picked up the keys, when the knock came again. There was something about it, something oddly familiar. It was almost déjà vu and yet in the same breadth couldn’t be further from déjà vu. Matt hesitated, he wasn’t sure why. He put the key in the door, unlocked it, and cautiously moved it open.
Seeing her stood on the other side of the door, Matt knew why the knock had sounded so familiar. The knock had her trademark impatience, although it lacked soul that only she knew how to add. She barely resembled the girl he remembered. She had lost her gloss, that had always seemed to act like a deflective shield to all that was wrong in the world. Her green eyes had lost their passion, their fire. Maya barely looked like her former self; in fact you may have been forgiven for truly believing her to be a different person. There were no words. Feeling a mixture of anger and relief to see her, Matt stepped forward onto the cold slate step outside the front door and hugged her.