‘That’s great and all, but it’s nonsense. We still can’t go anywhere,’ says Emma. The tone of her voice cuts and I visibly flinch.
I’d just suggested that we take a trip interstate, forgetting that the borders are still stupidly closed. I’d laid out plans with excruciating detail: where we could stay, sights to see, museums to visit. All while she was scoffing, hand over mouth.
She’s still chortling now. I smile. She’s a nice girl, not usually so scathing with me, so I let it go through to the keeper, and say brightly, ‘You’re right. We can’t go anywhere can we?’
My enthusiasm for the holiday doesn’t wane, though. It’s my home state, and I’m keen to show her where I grew up. My mind is spinning like car tyres. ‘But we can plan it and dream about it now. So when the borders do reopen, we’re set to go. We’ll just need to book the accommodation. Right?’
‘Yeah, sounds good.’
‘Do you reckon your mum will be OK with you coming along?’
But I’m not so sure. Emma’s mum, Miriam, is seething over the divorce still, and even more angry that her ex has shacked up with me. Emma and I get along well, which also doesn’t help.
‘I’ll get your dad to check with her. Yeah?’
‘OK.’ Emma’s still nodding, but now with a grin from ear to ear.
Fortunately, Brant and Miriam have kept their bickering to a minimum and always out of Emma’s earshot. She thinks the split is hunky-dory and we’re all good friends.
Which is not a bad thing, and one of the things we’re getting right.