Out With The Old

Cof­fee Break Tale

My Weekly - - Contents - By Kate Ho­gan

It’s got to go, Kate,” Nick said. “The place is a tip. Things need to change round here!” I looked around. My home, my cosy, comfy lit­tle apart­ment. Why did Nick have to kick off when­ever there wasn’t any sport on? “But I –” I be­gan. “No ifs or buts,” Nick said. “I can’t think sur­rounded by all this clut­ter.”

“Think?” I said. From what I knew of Nick he didn’t do much think­ing. Oh, he’d laid on the charm when I first met him, while I was on the girls-from-work night out. At least I think he did, but maybe my mind was ad­dled with the wine we’d been quaffing.

“Most of it’s use­less, sen­ti­men­tal old rub­bish,” Nick con­tin­ued. “Clog­ging up the place – stuff you don’t need. You’ve got to learn to let go.”

I couldn’t speak. Just the thought of let­ting go of any of my trea­sured pos­ses­sions made me want to cry.

“I’ll get some boxes from the su­per­mar­ket,” Nick said. “You can start sort­ing the place out while I’m away.” “Away?” I queried. Nick stared at me. “Golf week­end with the boys, re­mem­ber?” he said, shak­ing his head.

I didn’t re­mem­ber him men­tion­ing it, but then Nick was al­ways tak­ing off some­where with his mates. Foot­ball, fish­ing, darts, sail­ing, now golf!

Still, if it meant I could have a bit of space to be on my own, I sup­posed I had to be glad. A week­end of peace from the blar­ing TV sport, in­ter­spersed only by Nick’s moan­ing about the state of the place, would be as much of a hol­i­day as I could ask for – or af­ford.

It was no use won­der­ing if Nick would con­sider fork­ing out for a few days away for him and me. I’d asked a mil­lion times af­ter he first moved in.

“Don’t want to be wast­ing money on ho­tels,” he said, “when there’s ev­ery­thing we need here.”

Funny that, think­ing about it, when all he did now was com­plain there wasn’t enough space for his clothes, his angling gear, or any of the other para­pher­na­lia he’d moved in with him.

I’d al­ready had to clear away and box all my books, so he could rip out the book­case to make room for the ul­tra wide-screen TV tuned in to non-stop Sky Sports.

I’d been work­ing that hard I could have done with a lit­tle week­end away my­self, but given my wages were swal­lowed up by the rent, the food shop­ping and the rest of the bills there was fat chance of that.

I’d fool­ishly thought that when Nick moved in we’d be shar­ing ex­penses, but what he gave me barely cov­ered the ad­di­tional util­i­ties he used, see­ing as we were stuck in most nights.

“It’s more than I gave my mum,” he said when I queried the amount.

So,” said Nick, break­ing through my thoughts. “Iron a few shirts and throw a few things in a case for me, while I go and sort out some beer to take for me and the boys. I’ll pick up the boxes from the su­per­mar­ket while I’m there. Wayne’s pick­ing me up at eight.”

I stared long and hard at his back as he headed to­ward the door. I’d sorted his clothes, and his travel bag was ready by the time he got back. All Nick had to do was have a quick shower and get dressed be­fore Wayne beeped his horn.

I waved him off good-na­turedly. Once he’d gone, I stood in the mid­dle of the room star­ing at the chaos around me. True to his word Nick had picked up some big boxes for me to clear out the junk in my life.

Amaz­ing how easy it was once I’d made up my mind. The place was sorted by Sun­day night. All of Nick’s gear was neatly packed in the card­board boxes wait­ing out­side in the drive for him for when he got back. I’m sure his mum will wel­come him home with open arms.

The place looked fan­tas­tic. Nick was right. Things needed to change. I just had to learn to let go – of him!

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