Another new ministory. It's based on a reoccurring dream I've been having with them, so I figured why not write it and take a little break from everything I've been struggling to work on. I'm also using it as an opportunity to try more first-person point of view. Hope you enjoy.
Moving on a rainy day sucks.
It likes to rain a lot around here during spring, so when I booked our bus tickets I made sure the weather would be in our favor, but a surprise shower ruined it all. Lily and I lived the farthest from the train station and we didn't exactly pack light. I had two suitcases, one packed so full of books I was afraid it would burst. Lily was smarter I guess, she had one suitcase and the rest of her things were being shipped over. I hadn't thought to do that. I managed to cram my whole life into suitcases and bags. Dad's car was having troubles and we were going to be late, so we ran.
We ran, coats sloppily pulled on and umbrellas shaky in our hands. Lily tugged her suitcase along, a backpack on, and the cat carrier in hand. I was yanking two suitcases with a backpack and two bags were thrown over my shoulder. I could barely hold my umbrella, let alone my cat's carrier. Dad delayed our run with his goodbyes, so we didn't have time to struggle. We couldn't miss this bus. The sky was grey and everyone else in our small town looked to us from the warmth of diners and cars. I was jealous and I hoped that perhaps someone we knew would come along and offer a ride.
But no one came, so we ran.
The bus station looked somber on this rainy day. Litter dusted the ground, leaks dripped into overflowing buckets and containers. It didn't smell very good as busses and flocks of people passed through. Luckily there was an overhang for us to wait. The ticket booths were busy and it took Lily a long time to get ours, but thankfully she got them with just minutes to spare. Lily and I didn't waste time getting onto the bus. We wanted our pick of the seats. There were a few people, mainly older that sat mostly in the front and middle. I wanted the back. I wanted the back where a long stretch of seats pressed against the back of the bus, unlike the clusters of three. I wanted to sit by the window and that was all. Lily didn't care and instead went off to find a taller passenger to help her lug the bags overhead. I sat down, the seats weren't comfortable, we couldn't afford one of the newer luxury busses, but this would do. Our bus wasn't packed, in fact, when I looked online there seemed to be a lot of empty seats, which left me to hope that we could have the back all to ourselves.
Princess, my cat, sat in the seat between Lily and I. She was meowing and whining, as I figured she would. Leaning over to the two bags I kept from the luggage hold, I pulled out a little blanket and some treats. I'd take Princess out of her carrier and dry her off a bit, give her a little treat and let her stretch her legs once everything settled. She was already wearing her harness and when our first pitstop would come I'd take her outside and walk a bit.
Vanemy was the last to get on the bus, in fact, she was so late I feared she'd miss it. She ran on in a huff with her things. The doors closed behind her and the driver was ready to take off. So we'd have the back to ourselves after all! Vanemy tossed her suitcase above and dropped her overnight bag at my feet. Outside I could see her cousins waving to her, her little sister in hand. I could tell Vanemy had been crying.
"Hey guys" Vanemy smiled, wiping away whatever tears had been leftover from her farewells. She sat down next to Princess while Lily was pressed at the other window already getting comfy for a nap.
"Hey, are you alright?" Saying goodbye wasn't easy, but at least Lily was able to come with me.
"Yeah" she sighed, "I'll just be a little homesick, but they want to come to visit once we get settled."
"That'd be cool" I smiled, "we could make a nice little dinner and just have a nice evening!"
Vanemy nodded, sitting back and sighing. "Do you think we'll have dinner together every night?" She wondered.
"Well, I will. I'm not sure about Lily over there." I teased, looking at my younger, admittedly much stiffer sister.
"When I can then maybe I will." She stated.
"You don't have to, I just thought it'd be...nice is all."
"Well I'd love to" I spoke up, "what's the point of living together and keeping to ourselves" it was more directed at Lily, who I knew didn't have the friendship that I did with Vanemy. While eating together at dinner may sound like a trivial thing to make a deal about, or like something should already be normal- it wasn't for us. My family stopped having formal family dinners for the most part when my mother passed away, while I wasn't when the last time Vanemy had had one. Her parents weren't there, so she ate alone or with her younger sister if she was at home. It made me sad, at least my dad could cook and make time to hang out with us still. Vanemy's parents just weren't like that. They were gone all the time.
"Nothing better than sitting with your best friend after a long day and just enjoying dinner together and catching up!" Vanemy grinned, "I imagine once things get settled we won't be spending a whole lot of time together."
I nodded. We were all leaving for our own reasons. Lily still had a year of school left, while we were graduated for the most part. She had scholarships to move for, a wonderful chance at a wonderful school to move for. That and she wanted to get away from our home. I guess she just got tired of playing homemaker and taking care of the family. Tired of the lack of friends she had and of the people at her school who didn't like her...bluntness. She has a hard personality to sit with at times. Lily would be at school a lot of her time, and she did still need a part-time job despite her scholarships to cover her part of the rent and apartment responsibilities.
Vanemy was going for a new opportunity. She'd gone to school alongside me at our local college and now it was time she went farther in life. A little culinary school was waiting for her in the city, along with a little part-time job. At first, I don't think she had planned to leave home, even when I brought the idea up to as Lily and I made our plans she wasn't jumping for the opportunity. But after a while, she decided to give it a chance, and I knew that if things didn't work out she would be ready to go back home and fall into her routine. I could tell she was missing her younger sister already. I couldn't blame her, Verity was a doll and it wasn't like their parents were around. Her cousins were at least.
And I was going on what my dad claims is a horrible whim. I'm done with school, besides a few minor classes left to take online. Writing is what I'd gone for, though specifically Journalism. I'd worked over the summer at our town's little newspaper place even, but now it's time I got out. I want a real job, a real chance to report and write on things. There's a company in the city, looking to hire new interns. The company, though small, was growing pretty quick in ratings. It's the perfect chance! Get in as an intern and work my way up- shouldn't be too hard. not to brag, but my uncle always said I had an eye for a good story. I'd also be getting a part-time job to help cover my half of the expenses.
We all had a lot we were moving for. And while I wish we could spend hours together in our new apartment, talking and just living, exploring our new city and growing up, one can't make it if they don't work hard. Part-time jobs were stepping stones to making our goals and dreams come true. We'd have our time to be young and have fun, but responsibilities come first- as my father drilled into my head.
Don't come crying to me for money he said.
Have fun, but don't come home with a kid he pleaded.
If you get arrested I'm not bailing you out and don't come back an alcoholic he explained.
Call me every day, please.
Four simple things he asked of me, and I'm pretty sure I can manage all of them
Our bus ride would be overnight with periodic stops every few hours. Lily was already asleep by the time the bus left the town border. Vanemy was listening to music and playing on her phone. While I had taken a book out to read for the next few hours. Princess fell asleep fast without much of a problem and I dropped my blanket over her carrier to complete her dark little cave. I didn't really want to read, but I knew if I didn't make myself do something I'd go insane. Lily wasn't going to wake up any time soon since she'd gotten up extra early to get things ready. Vanemy was in her own world for the time being, but when the views outside begin to pick up I'll nudge her and she'll ogle at them with me.
We arrived at our final stop two nights later. Sleeping on a bus two nights wasn't exactly comfy or fun, but we made do- or rather Vanemy and I made do while Lily made friends with the boy sitting in front of her. The boy, I'd only overheard his first name, was Spandel. He and Lily talked off and on, though I'm pretty sure Lily was just interested in questioning him on his odd appearance and where he was going. Overly curious she was, but he never ignored her. In fact, he was pretty nice. We shared our snack with him and when our stop came he helped us pull our luggage down.
"How is he so tall?" Lily wondered as he walked off in the crowd of people. Vanemy and I were too busy stretching out stiff limbs and trying to balance all our luggage out. I regret all the books now, my arm was sore from sleeping on it and the books seemed way heavier. Vanemy had packed the lightest and I almost cried when she offered to take one of my bags from me. Lily took some of mine as well and let me carry Princess. This bus station was much nicer than the one back home, still dirty with the bustle of city dwellers, but just grander in appearance.
Lily searched her phone for directions to our apartment and led us. Our apartment wasn't too far of a walk, though it was drizzling with cool rain. We contemplated a taxi, but none seemed to want to stop for us, so we walked.
We walked to that tall apartment building under the cover or gentle rain and nosy traffic. Fortunately, where the building was located it was much quieter. The apartment building was several floors tall, with nice new exterior and pretty decor. It was a higher-end and rather expensive, but we had already covered the first two months' rent. Plus split between the three of us it was pretty manageable. We just had to worry about the expenses and getting settled in. We'd have time to find and settle into a job before we had to start paying.
Inside no one waited for us at the lobby area so we went right to the elevator. Vanemy pulled her key out since Lily and I were tried and struggling with our things. We were on the seventh floor, apartment 704. It was late, so we tried our best to be quiet as we crept through the hall. Vanemy opened the door and we all collapsed inside. Lily's boxes, as well as a few other deliveries we had sent here, were stacked neatly to the side of the living room and our furniture still needed to be moved around. Lily trudged the room at the end of the hall and fell on her bare bed with a groan.
Vanemy had taken the room beside Lily's, while I was left with the last room. The apartment was set up nicely. A very small walkway and shoe area greeted you at the door and led right into the living room. The kitchen was small and separated with a little marble counter and stools. To the right, there's the door to my room and a small hall with a storage closet and glass door opening to the balcony. To the left was a small hall that had Lily and Vanemy's rooms, as well as the bathroom and another small closet.
I opened my room door and quickly began to get Princess's things set up. I laid her bed beside mine, along with some of her toys and the blanket I knew she liked. I set her litter box in the bathroom, hidden under the sink and left her food and water bowls filled next to the sliding doors. Later I'd set all her stuff up, but for now, I released her from her prison and she darted out to hide under the bed. "Settle in soon Princess" I cooed and left some treats out for her. I wasn't sure what to do next. I was worn out, but also too excited not to start unpacking. I pulled some clothes out and hung them up for tomorrow, lined my shoes on the shoe rack at the door and set out some of the leftover snacks I had on the counter.
Lily was making her bed and slowly moving her boxes into her room while Vanemy was digging around for a bowl in the kitchen things. "Do you want some?" She asked, holding up a can of soup.
"No" I almost whined, "I need a real meal."
Vanemy laughed, "me too, but we aren't grocery shopping until tomorrow."
"We can order something?" I asked, waiting for Lily to say something.
"We can tonight, but don't get in the habit of spending all your money on take out." She called. I rushed to find my phone and find a place near us. I left it charging.
"There's a little pizza place down the street, they said thirty minutes." I declared while Vanemy gave up on trying to find a can opener.
"I found our blankets" she sighed, "the dishes are in that box and the bathroom supplies there."
"Oh, I need a hot shower!" I grabbed the box with a new burst of energy. "I'll unpack it and hop in the shower, is that okay with you guys? Vanemy nodded and Lily made a noise as she changed into pajamas.
I sat on the bathroom's cool tiled floor and organized our things. The general stuff was stored away in the cabinets, while I left Vanemy and Lily's toiletries bags sitting on the counter for them. I'd never been so excited to take a shower! My sore muscles were tense as I rinsed the tub out and waited for the hot water to kick in. I could hear the girls outside in the living room trying to push the sofa out of the way. Looks like I left just in time!
Showering in a new place is weird. The water was steaming and hot against my skin and it felt amazing, but it also felt off. The grey and black tiles were so sleek and expensive-looking, nothing like back home. The water pressure was different, the tiles felt slipperier under my hands and there weren't any annoying rubber ducks sitting on the shelves like back home. I washed my hair slowly, drifting off into thought as I tried to pull tangles from my hair.
It felt...real now. Yeah, we had spent months and months preparing for this move, but it had never felt real before. Even during the bus ride or walking through the city. Walking in I felt like I was just visiting a friend, not really my home. But now, as I listened to Vanemy and Lily giggle over the shower heads ringing and watched the steam fog the shiny black tiles, and heard my phone ring and someone run off to grab the pizza- if felt real. I turned the water off and dried off as if I was in a trance. Slow movements and no real focus in my eyes. I tied my robe and walked out with my hair in a stingy mess.
Lily was on the sofa eating and Vanemy was on whining as she struggled to get the T.V. set up. Lily's legs were kicked up and she looked the most relaxed she'd ever been this whole trip. Vanemy snuck bites of her food and pushed Lily to help her. From the corner of my eye, I could see Princess slowly starting to creep out towards her litter box. I smiled and took a slice of pizza. The screen flickers before it sprung to life with a picture.
"Yes!" Vanemy congratulated herself. "Movie time!"
I noticed our blankets spread about the living room, "Vanemy wants to sleep together" Lily scoffed.
"No, that was all your idea!" She laughed, jumping to sit on the floor and leaned against the sofa.
I smiled and sat down beside Vanemy and as we all settled down for the night I looked out the window, which was still needed to have curtains put up. The sky was dark with the distant glow of towering buildings and signs. It as so beautiful and hard not to think about all the opportunities waiting for us out there.