"I really don't know why it's been so bloody difficult?, are you having reservations or is it just you're that picky?"
heaving a sigh, here we go, mum busting my bollocks over my house hunting skills.. again.
"no, finding the right home isn't that easy, something that meets my requirements, not too far from London, has enough acreage that if need be I can have a Tennis court built and for the Dog to run about, plus privacy is a must...believe it or not, such properties aren't as available as you might think"
the raised brow that greeted me said she might be thinking I was being a tit, wasn't sure.
"well, not too terribly fussy, have you given any thought to having someone going with you to help?, you know, giving some input, suggestions"
"if you're proposing I take Em or Sarah with me" putting up a hand, "I'd rather misquote Shakespeare"
shaking her head, giving a roll of the eyes, arms folded.
"honestly Thomas, don't be a git"
One week later, finding myself at mum's house after another day of what I considered a bollocking cluster fuck, yet one more Real estate agent showing me shit I didn't want, couldn't use or otherwise not afford. I was ready to just explode.
"tea?...or a shot of that piss you call whiskey from the bottle that you left here? when you need to unwind"
reclining in the plush chair, resting my head back, eyes closed, considering her choice of words.
"house hunting again I take it" she called from the kitchen, "not fairing well by the looks of you"
nice observation mum.
"yes I was" pinching my sinuses, "at this point I'd be happy living in a fisherman's shack"
"I told you my thoughts on the subject, you should give it a try, an no I'm not suggesting your sisters, bring a friend along" mum set a tray of snacks on the table, "it couldn't hurt"
"I'll consider it, and another agency too"
heaving a sigh, where to begin?
"yes, if its not the wrong kind of property they show me its the agent as well... some flirty female, though dressed professionally, her blouse is...well lacking some buttons and her boobs are practically jumping out at me"
rolling her eyes, mum frowned.
"should of told the tart that.. isn't the kind of real estate you're interested in"
smirking, I knew that would get a rise out of the old girl.
"you'll be pleased to know I ignored them the entire time, despite the pronounced display before me, my eyes solely focused above them.." making a face, "in fact I think at one point she was offended that I wasn't gawking at them"
"what?!..from what you're telling me she was blatantly making a sexual advance on you,Thomas, you were there to see houses,not her breasts"
"ehehehe... I know, that's why I'm going with another Agency, perhaps a gentleman agent, older someone who has been at the real estate business awhile"
"as long as he doesn't fancy men, then I say you're good to go son"
aw for fucksakes!
handing me a cup of tea, she grinned cheekily.
All the rubbish of the days events must of caught up with me and I fell asleep on mum's couch as that's where I found myself waking to the sound of conversation coming from the kitchen, though it was a low light hearted chatter between mum and someone's voice I didn't recognize, it sounded feminine and.. American.
rolling effortlessly off the couch, rising, stretching, I then made my way to the kitchen to investigate getting as far as the entryway when I stopped stalk still, there was mum talking to a woman, both having tea, she was small in height, long ginger hair, petite build.. why was I taking inventory?
"oh Thomas, you're awake"
the woman looked over her shoulder.. lovely green eyes too and a set of full lips, again with the inventory?
"ah, yes, sorry about that"
rising out of her chair giving a dismissive wave.
"it's no bother son, I'd like to introduce you to someone,this is Miss Wynter Adamson, that's Wynter with a Y as she tells it, she works for Mrs. Beecham, since Finn passed on last year"
rising to her feet, she extended her hand.
"hello, so you're Tom" giving me a lovely smile. "and yes, spelled with a Y instead of a i..I think my mom never did outlive the Sixties"
taking her hand I naturally did what a true English gentleman did, placed a chaste kiss on it, which warranted a raised brow from Wynter... yes,unusual name.
"pleasure to meet you Miss Adamson"
"she just dropped by for a visit and a spot of tea" mum handed me a cup, "does every now an then"
"very kind of you, mum rarely gets company, my sisters don't live nearby, but I do... not a very good son I'm afraid" looking chagrined.
"but he's working on it" mum held up a finger, "just between being fussy about Real estate and having slag's for Agents its been a bit of a pain in the arse"
Wynter snickered, evidently she was use to mum's tendencies to sudden coarse outbursts.
"been a real rough go has it?" sipping from her cup.
"ah.. yeah.. like mum put it so indelicately" giving mum a side eye of disapproval, "seems at least one of the agents was keen about being on the flirty side, an no...I'm not picky, a simple list of wants really"
"hmm, ya, could do without the skank factor as part of the sale, can I ask what that list may entail?"
Wow, cheeky.. and she looked sincerely interested in what was going on with my house hunting.. okay, why not?
"well.." heaving a sigh, "perhaps three bedrooms more is fine, two loo's, a decent sized kitchen, and a library, nothing huge, as for the property, something with shrubbery already well established, big trees, privacy reasons and at least big enough to have a tennis court built, cause I haven't found anything with a court already in place, extra acreage is a plus, I have a dog he'll need a place to run about"
looking up thoughtfully, fingers tapping lightly on her lips.
"hmm, no.. that's not too much to ask, may I suggest if you really want that library, turn one of those three bedrooms into a library or...get a four bedroom and do the same and you'll still have the three bedrooms"
"brilliant!.. I'd of never of thought of that"
"I had a friend do that except she did it with an office, she runs a small business from home, worked out great"
again with that smile, but it quickly disappeared as she looked at her watch.
"damn, I got to go.. Grace has med's to take in a few and she has to eat with them, so I need to get lunch going as well"
leaving already?..responsibility calls can't slight her for that,perhaps we could talk again.
"So did you enjoy your visit with Diana? all is well with her?"
"uh.. ya.. ya, everything's good" handing grace her blood pressure pills.
"it's good of you darling to share your time with her, I know she finds you to be pleasant company" patting my arm, smiling warmly. "her own children don't come around as much as they use too, I'm sure she gets lonely"
"well her son was there today, Tom, I met him"
clapping her hands together in delight.
"oh, that's wonderful, Thomas is usually busier than his sisters, he's a lovely lad, and" she had cheeky look on her face, "easy on the eyes last I recall"
straightening my posture, eyeing the older woman, cocking a suspicious brow.
"and...what's that suppose to mean Grace?"
"oh nothing" she fiend ignorance looking about the room.
"uh huh, as my old pa-pa use to say, I smell me a load of horse shit"
giving me a mock look of disapproval.
"well you're in the UK now and the word we use here is, bollocks Miss Adamson, you'll do well to remember that"
"duly noted M'lady Grace" putting a hand to my chest, "I meant no offense"
a mischievous grin grew on her weathered face.
"cheeky lot ya are"
"you're fault" wagging a finger at her, "your saltiness and brazen character has rubbed off on me"
"it's a good thing too" giving a firm nod, "the men in this country could use it sometimes, beings you're a fetching lass"
"uh, I'm not even looking"
"humf.. I wasn't either, but then my Finny showed up loud and proud as any Scotsman, no matter how many times I told him to buggar off" shaking her head. "didn't have the salt you speak of, back then"
folding my arms I sat back, amused by her so called annoyance by her late husband in his youth.
"so what finally won you over?"
"well" rolling her eyes, "silly as it may sound, he would secretly show up with wild flowers he picked along the way to my house and read me poetry, but he'd never admit it to his mates, thought they call him a nancy boy and yeah, that would just end up with him in a brawlin mess'"
I found it hard to imagine as I glanced at the old wedding photo sitting next to her on the table.
"so, a tough guy with a soft side, that's what won you over?"
a small smile crossed Grace's face as she too looked at the photo.
"aye" her voice soft.
"And just where did you wander off too?"
mum tried looking innocent folding towels in the hall linen closet, but I knew better, those towels were already there for the using.
"what does it look like son?"
"honestly Thomas" acting affronted.
"you actually think I'm going to buy into that" pointing at the half assed folding method she now had going on.
irritated she crammed the towel in shelf shutting the door.
"what was I suppose to do, interrupt your conversation?, I had nothing to add, besides Wynter seem to have good ideas on the subject"
"yes she did, but to up an leave us altogether?"
"she's a good lass, good people...other than Grace and myself she has no one else to talk to, I saw it as a chance for her to chat with someone close to her own age, it was nice to hear her talk about something else besides Doctor appointments, medication schedules and Graces failing health" sighing, "Wynter's life revolves around Grace, and not one protest will you hear, so if it pleases me to walk away while she has a discussion with someone new and that doesn't apply to her current life.. so be it"
I had no idea Wynter was so dedicated to her duties, good on her, no wonder mum liked her so much.
"my apologies, seems she is good people as you say, I had no idea Grace was so ill"
Mum lowered her head, her tone quiet.
"son, she has Pulmonary fibrosis, it's a type of chronic lung disease characterized by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function.there's no known cause, the prognosis is poor, the survival for most is less than 5 years, Grace was given even less time,though that doesn't seem to bother her, or the illness"
taken surprised by the diagnoses, I simply stared for a moment before I spoke.
"that's awful, surely Ian and Lacey know"
"yes, their the ones who hired Wynter, they plan on at some point taking their mum on a holiday, soon" mum smiled weakly, "before her condition worsens"
Ian and Lacey were Grace's children a bit older than myself, but my sisters and I knew them, Ian and his family lived in the States as that's were his job took him, Lacey lived in Ireland with her husband.
"maybe because of the loss of Finn, she feels it so heavily that perhaps Grace doesn't see her infirmity as it is, to her it's only a means to be back with the one she loves"
Mum closed her eyes solemnly.
"Thomas, that's the saddest, yet loveliest thing I've heard, you could be right"
~ A Month Later~
"You moved in yet?"
"no, there's some work to be done on it, and personally I don't want to be living in a house while a bloody Renovation is going on"
"oh" pouring me some tea, mum watched my face, "problem?"
"yeah, I don't know where to begin on the reno, I feel like a tit" I murmured.
taking a seat she held her cup that sat on the table with both hands.
"well, may I suggest hiring a General Contractor and interior designer, at least that's what I've known people to do, Maggie Templeton did when she renovated that old theater in town, of course you'll need to do some research on them, to make sure their of good quality and they'll meet your requirements"
that was a brilliant idea.
"good on you mum, for a moment I was thinking of scuppering plans on the place for awhile until I could get a better grip on things"
"rubbish, you've been beating yourself up for weeks looking for a place, you finally found it, no reason to put things on hold cause you're baffled over on how to fix it up"
"you're right...as always"
"well of course I am,otherwise you would wind up living here, driving me nutters until you figured it out"
Thanks for the vote of confidence mum.
To be Continued.