Steve, our builder, pronounces Chaw’s name as “Chew,” as in mastication. He came round with his son to make the repairs and improvements that the police had recommended. As I was helping him to move in a fencing panel, Laura and Emma showed up outside my house. “I was locked out of my house,” said Laura, “in my pyjamas. Can I hang out with you?”
“Yes, of course you can, come on in.” One of the underwater hockey team had, by mistake, closed the door with Laura outside of it. She’d borrowed clothes from the team. Unfortunately, underwater hockey is a sport played by giants, and the borrowed clothes didn’t fit. Laura was wearing jeans that were too long for her, rolled up at the ankle, and cowboy boots two sizes too big. What a state! We drank some tea, listened to some Fleetwood Mac, and read the newspaper. We learned that Greenland has a smaller population than Wellingborough. And I thought Wellingborough had a problem with inbreeding!
Dunk and Kate joined us for soup, prepared in the shadow of the builder’s activity. It was carrot and coriander, and all freshly made. Once Laura’s friends brought her clothes, we held hands and walked down to Beech Road, to my old house at Whalley Avenue, and to Electrik for a couple of ciders.
As I lay next to Laura in her bed, I was stunned to realise that it was only a week since I’d come round for Sunday dinner at her house. It feels like so much has happened in that time. I’m very excited about Laura, about now and about feeling like I do.