I'd been worried about how the suggestion of going to London would go down, but I think Cay took it pretty well, considering how I'd given him no warning. Despite him saying I have to see his mum, and Brent's warning that she's "fierce". That could be interesting.
Though as I walk back to my apartment, this isn't really what I'm worrying about. I'm wondering where my old house keys went, whether Cay will make me take him around all the touristy shit in London, if anything's changed much since I last saw the city. My thoughts flicker to my granddad and how I haven't seen him for nearly three years, putting off my visits only because I don't like airports and because I didn't want to let him see how badly Alex had fucked me over.
The stubborn old git is more like my dad than my actual dad is.
The reason Cay doesn't have to meet my parents? They all but disowned me when I came out as gay a week after my eighteenth birthday. Conservative bastards. Left me the house, though, when they decided to move out of London. My granddad must have had words with them. The only reason I'd considered a hotel before was because I haven't been there in years. It's probably disgusting, unless granddad has randomly decided to clean it for me... I doubt that though. I don't think Cay will let me spend half of my holiday cleaning a house.
My thoughts keep rambling in the back of my head as I open my laptop, quietly cursing at how slow it is. It's a torturous trawl through page after page of terms and conditions and billing addresses blah blah blah until I've finally got the tickets ordered. When that's done, I lean back into the sofa, closing my eyes. This time next week, Cayden and I will be stumbling off a plane, trying to ignore the jet lag until we find a bed to collapse on.
Just the idea of being at home with my boyfriend, on the other side of the world to Alex is enough to make me smile widely. I pull my phone out of my pocket and text Cay to tell him the tickets are booked and that he has a week to pack and sort out someone else to help Brent with the shop. I end the message asking "d'you want me to book a hotel, or shall I clean up my old house?" It's when I ask that, that I realise I could have gone over a couple of days earlier to clean and then picked Cay up later on.
"How much cleaning would that involve?" he asks.
"I've not been there for three years, so I dunno. A couple of days." I tell him, wondering vaguely if I could persuade granddad to get a cleaner in there.
"It's up to you. I've seen your cleaning skills..." I laugh slightly.
"You mean you've seen my OCD in action."
"Like I said, doll, it's up to you :)" I smile and close my laptop, dumping it on the sofa beside me.
I grab the landline phone and dial my granddad's number, hoping it's not some ungodly hour in England right now.
"Hello?" my granddad's voice was tired, like he'd just woken up from a nap in front of the TV.
"Hey, granddad, it's Max," I say with a smile, "I didn't just wake you up did I?"
"I don't sleep at eight in the evening, Max, you know that," he grumbles and I laugh, relieved it's not like midnight or something,
"'Course not, ‘course not."
"So go on then," he says in a tone that suggests he's preparing himself for a request for a large amount of money or something, "what've you called me for this time?"
"I called to let you know I'm coming over for a few weeks."
"Oh!" I can almost hear him grinning, "been a while, kiddo. What's brought you back home this time?"
"Just missing it, I guess. I'll wonder why when I'm there, but that's normal," I laugh, "I was thinking about staying at the house, but I'm thinking it'll be pretty gross by now. I wondered if you could get a cleaner in there at some point in the next week? I'll pay you back when I get there."
"You hate cleaners."
"Yeah, but I'd rather spend the two days it'll take to clean with my boyfriend," I grin. Though I'd mostly hidden how badly Alex's departure hurt, he knew all about what had gone down.
"A new boyfriend? Didn't think I'd live to see the day you got yourself someone steady."
"So much faith in me," I mutter and he laughs.
"I'm joking. Do I get to meet him?"
"Anyway, do I get the cleaner or not?" there's a pause and he hums thoughtfully.
"Maybe. If I get to meet your guy." Stubborn old man.
"I'll ask him and call back." He grunts his assent and hangs up. Grabbing my wallet and keys, I leave the apartment, heading back for the bookshop.