“So here we are at the final apartment lined up for today”, yells our Commission driven Chauffer as he screeches to a halt and vaults onto the pavement with his front tires. “Granted, it’s different from the rest we’ve viewed, but what it lacks in external beauty and glamour, it makes up for in location. Go and let yourself in, here are the keys, I’m just off to buy some fags”
Standing on the side of the busy road, my husband turns to me in what appears to be a ‘Have you finally lost your mind‘ sort of way. I wave the keys in the air and cross the road to a small concealed entrance nestling next door to what appears to be a second hand Spanish TV repair shop.
My son removes his headphones and looks up towards our destination
“You are kidding mum… right? We aren’t going in here are we? Where’s the swimming pool? In fact where’s the door?
Pushing them both aside and tutting at their lack of vision, I open the metal gate and head inside. A spiral stone staircase leads us up to the first floor and after a quick tussle with a sticky lock, I open the door to our final property with a flourish.
Sunshine streams through the south facing windows and onto the speckled marble floor. Stepping straight into the freshly painted white entrance hall the glaringly obvious fact is, there isn’t one item of furniture included in the apartment apart from a forlorn looking mattress propped up in the corner of the entrance hall.
“Well that’s your bedroom sorted” I yell over my shoulder to the boy child but he’s not listening, he’s already found the key to the balcony and is currently stood outside.
“Muuuummmm, is that the road leading to my school over there?’ he says, pointing behind the trees.
“Why yes, yes it is, what are the odds on that!” I smile innocently. “And look” I exclaim “There’s a supermarket on the corner and a Panaderia just to the right. I guess it must only be a ten minute walk down to Miramar, where the English cinema is, you could walk there on your own or with your mates after school, unlike the other two properties which are very pretty but not so central. The sea could be your swimming pool” I smile knowingly and meander back inside.
My husband narrows his eyes at me and I avoid his glare by cheerfully pointing out the space in the remaining vacant rooms.
“There’s an extra bedroom here too for when the family want to visit” I cut in before he has time to interject “We could then use this third one as a TV room and put in a sofa bed which would mean we still have a nice quiet dining room where we can all chat and have dinner together like the locals do”
I have it all worked out, an estate agent in the making. Mr Veneers will be so proud of his protégé.
Begrudgingly my husband raps his knuckles against the kitchen wall and looks enquiringly into lounge. I can see what he’s thinking. Knock the kitchen wall through; bring the kitchen into the dining room. I thought exactly the same when I first viewed the property. I clench my sweating palms together, willing him to see the potential of this empty shell.
A voice echoes out from the balcony where my only child is still standing, leaning over the railings.
“So let me get this right, if we lived here I could get up for school about 8.15am and walk over the road on my own, meet my friends at the weekends and I wouldn’t need to be seen out in public with either of you two ever again?”
I nod my head in agreement and then look at my husband and aim my final arrow at the standing target
“And just so you know, the theatre is just a ten minute walk away but I thought you could buy that motorbike you always wanted…and ride that to work, then we could get rid of the car which would solve the parking issue”
Casually I walk back into the lounge and leave the men folk looking slightly shell shocked on the balcony, the realisation of my words finally taking effect.
The front door gently opens and the Porcelain Prince glides into the room and stands quietly beside me.
“Soooo… have you done my job for me?”, he whispers into my ear.
Looking out onto the balcony I watch my husband and son talking animatedly and pointing up the road towards the town centre whilst laughing at the mopeds flying past on the road below.
My lips curve into a smile and I nod towards the ‘Se Vende’ sign hanging lopsided from the outside railings. Nodding, He makes a scissoring motion with his fingers and rubs his hands in glee.
Our work here is done.
To be continued… Episode 12
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