Waking up alone when you expect someone to be next to you is never the nicest of feelings. Double that with knowing that the person who is supposed to be next to you is more than likely to go wandering off around a city he doesn't know and you've got yourself a mini heart attack. I make a half hearted effort to look for him inside and out in the garden, but the place is too quiet.
When I find his note telling me he's "gone exploring" I heave an exasperated sigh. Figuring he'll probably be a while, I go have a shower, get dressed and head out to reacquaint myself with the city and my old haunts.
There's this quiet little café that I used to go sit at the back of to have breakfast and a coffee on my own, or sometimes with a friend. I smile up at the little establishment that, though a little run down these days, has survived the credit crunch and clung stubbornly to its patch.
I order a coffee and go sit down at a table near the back, feeling instantly nostalgic and cosy. This café was responsible for retaining my sanity as a teen and though I was no longer escaping from people who would sooner beat the shit out of me, I still feel like I'm slipping into a little sanctuary of my own.
After a while, I wonder what Cay's up to. Pulling my phone out, I dial his number and wait for him to pick up. When he answers, he comes out with something I wasn't expecting:
"Max, this isn't the best time..." I frown slightly.
"Oh... I was just wondering how your exploring was going, but I can call back later, I guess," I don't want to end up intruding or whatever and looking like one of those over protective, too nosy boyfriends. But... why is it not a good time?
"No, it's just..." he trails off and mutters under his breath, apparently trying to not let me hear. "Would you just talk to him already?" he says, and there's a crackling sound like he's passing the phone over to someone.
"Max?" A voice I haven't heard in seven years says my name down the phone and I freeze. "Max?" she asks again, and I drop the phone on the table, staring at it like it's a poisonous tarantula I just found hanging around by my ear. My mum says my name again and I jab the hang up button, my expression probably still stuck in one of complete shock. A moment later and my phone rings, buzzing across the table towards me.
Cay's name flashes up on the screen and I glower at it. If I'd known "exploring" had included going to see my mum behind my back, I wouldn't have let him go. I don't want to talk to her, and the feeling is more than likely still mutual.
I can't believe he wants to see pictures of me so much.
Disbelief turns, irrationally, to anger. I was willing to help him find pictures, and I would have gone there myself. But when I was ready to.
I slump over the table and bang my head down on the hard surface a few times, suppressing the urge to go and shout at him, the rational side of my mind recovering quicker than I expected it to. After a couple of minutes of just sitting there like that, figuring he probably meant it as a surprise or something, and ignoring the phone as it rings again, I sit back up, exhaling heavily.
There had been a reason I'd warned him going to see my mum might ruin the holiday, but I hadn't really guessed it might be because he would go off and do something stupid like this.