It all began that Monday morning that she’ll never forget. It was only 6.30 am and she was sat naked on her living room floor having her daily smoothie that she secretly hated, reading The Chronicles of Narnia (she has decided a while back that she wants to read all those books she had in the unpacked boxes stood in the corner of the room for months- it was her idea of doing something useful with her life). She knew she has to get going as she started work at 8 and she needed to avoid the traffic. She was used waking up quite early and doing something nice just for herself: her nails, read a book, cook a proper lunch or even watch porn and please herself. She could finally walk around the house naked, sing and dance and eat ice cream and have a cheeky glass of wine at 7 am in the morning, just because she wanted to. She finally felt happy and free and she didn’t need to hide from anyone. It was her very own little heaven. She put on her sophisticated grey suit and the very same simple make-up she’s been using for years and left the house.
In the car, listening to The Pogues (again) and munching on some Skittles which she
thought of as part of her super-hero breakfast, Nora was enjoying the morning sunshine which was very rare in Dublin. She felt like that day was going to be great, but then again she had the same feeling every morning. Suddenly her phone rang while she was driving her little old polo she had since she was about 20, but she decided to just ignore it. It was her mother. She was hoping it was nothing bad, but she promised herself she’ll give her a ring once she gets to work which she quickly arrived to after 10 minutes. She was working as an estate agent, something she would have never thought of after getting that bloody master degree in English a while back. It’s been 2 years and many things have happened since.
“Mum, hello! I literally have 5 minutes before I start work. What’s happened?”
“Nora, darling, nothing bad. I’m the happiest mother today. Your sister Cara is pregnant!! I’m going to be a grandmother; my very first grandchild.”
“Oh, wow! Well, congrats, I suppose! Woo..” She knew what’s coming.
“Nora, darling, now that your sister is having a baby, maybe you want to try settling too. You’re the older one, you know, you should be having someone at least and plan your future together. The clock is ticking, tick-tock, tick-tock”, she said with a laugh which Nora knew it was as fake as her workmate’s boobs. She stopped listening to her mum and quickly cut her off with a work “excuse”.
“Well THAT ruined my day, thank you very much”, she thought. Not the fact that her sister was going to have a sprog, but that her mum kept reminding her how alone she is. She felt sick for a bit while her entire past for the last 5 years came back to her head: the great memories, the amazing plans on a festival type wedding in her very own garden and having a family, the traveling they had planned and which they have never gotten around to actually do, the disappointment, the tears. She needed to go away for a while and be happy on her own without relying on anyone or without listening to her family asking her on and on and on if she’s depressed or if she’s a lesbian.
She was impatient now and her job felt today like a prison. After what seemed like ages, it was time to go home. She needed to make a decision about her life. She couldn’t settle now just for the sake of it. She knew there’s many, many things to explore and too many adventures to go on. Her little brain came up with what felt like the craziest idea she has ever had and for a moment she knew it will never happen. She needed a change though so she decided to go for it. She was going to sell her flat which was left as present from her grandparents, her poor little Polo and pretty much all her belongings and she will go away for a while. She didn’t know where and how the hell she will manage not to freak out the moment she’ll sat her sexy bum in a plane, but she was going to do it. That night she had a restless sleep, her heart was beating so fast she thought she’s gonna wet herself of so much excitement. She hasn’t thought how she’d break the news to her family yet, but that was the last one of her worries in the ocean of adventures she was throwing herself into.
Three weeks have gone past and there she was, right where she never dreamed to be at 25: driving the green camper van she always wished for, with her whole life packed in an old red suitcase, on her way to France. She was going to visit her best friend Ave, her person. Ave was having the time of her life in France after having traveled pretty much everywhere and Nora needed her and her non-soppy personality. Ave will fix her.
She named her camper van Joy.