Breaking Free – Sticky Labels

Andy was finding true love apparently.

At least that was the impression Sarah got from the latest missive that was lying on the doormat when she came home. The postcard was less crammed with writing than usual. Andy hoped she was well, that the house sale was progressing, and that she had found somewhere else to live. He advised her about redirecting her mail and ensuring that the estate agent knew where she was although he didn’t think that it was necessary to give too much information to Abigail. The last sentence read. ‘I hope you are putting your life together in the same way that as I am. I believe that I have found true love at last, and hope that the same will come to you eventually’.

Sarah threw the card down on the kitchen table in disgust, then, thinking better of it, stowed it away from Abigail’s eyes in the deepest recesses of her handbag. Whilst she was there, she found the list that Andy had so kindly put together, and armed with some sticky labels and a marker pen that she had bought on the way home, Sarah began to work her way round the house methodically labelling ever article that was hers – according to Andy. She had to admit, some of the things that Andy had allotted to her, could have been considered a joint purchase, but she had no need for kitchen chairs and a table at the moment. Andy had completely avoided itemising her CD, DVD and book collections. He didn’t have many books, had only wildlife DVDs, and only listened to her classical music CDs, but never bought his own. Trying to decide what she could put into storage and what she wanted with her at Millie’s, was less difficult than she had imagined, and using another set of coloured stickers, she then went round the house putting these on everything that had to go into storage. When that was finished, she was left with a handful of books, DVDs and CDs that she couldn’t live without, all her clothes and accessories, her TV, laptop and printer – all of which – once it was properly packed, would fit quite easily into her car and Millie’s.

The next thing on the agenda was to tell Jude all her news. Sarah had deliberately postponed doing this because she knew that she would be on the phone for ages. She could tell by the tone of Jude’s voice that she was not having a good day; as such Sarah decided to play down her news at first rather than gabble it all out excitedly. She started with the sad Marta and Peter saga; Jude began to perk up and agreed with her that Marta did indeed show a more than healthy number of the psychopathic tendencies. It was whilst Jude’s foggy brain was remembering her own stint in forensic social work that Sarah dropped the bomb.

“Jude, I’ve got a job!”

“Wow! – not at the studio?”

“Yes – working alongside Millie. I’m packing up my stuff and moving into Millie’s son’s bedroom until I can find somewhere of my own.”

There was a tense silence at the other end of the phone. Then a very small, tight-sounding voice said “I’m really pleased for you Jude, I’m sure you know what you are doing and it sounds like the right thing.”

“I do Jude. I can’t wait to introduce you to Millie, I’m sure you will love her too.”

“Oh, I expect you’ll be too busy for us once you start work.”

“I was never too busy for you guys before when I was at work. Why should I be now? Talking of which, can I come over and see you tomorrow? I need to go out and get some boxes and tape today, but I can’t do any more till Millie gets here on Saturday.”

“Are you sure?” Jude’s voice sounded a little more enthusiastic.

“Of course, I’m sure you idiot! Finding Millie again after all these years doesn’t mean that I can’t keep you and Dan as my best friends. Technically speaking, it will be easier to get to you from Millie’s as well. If you’re still keen on coming to see the show, then I’ve got twice as much chance of sneaking you in now that I’m working there.”

Jude’s voice began to take on a whole new tone, and she asked Sarah to tell her about Peter and Marta again. They chatted for a few more minutes and Sarah confirmed her arrival time the following day – after lunch so she could natter to Jude and Dan, see the girls when they came home from school and stay for a bit of dinner. Relieved that things were sorted with Jude, Sarah called Roseanne to say that she would be moving out over the weekend and would put her keys in an envelope, and drop them off when she and Millie left. Roseanne also proved to be a useful source for where Sarah could buy packing materials and who had the best storage facilities.

Armed with this information, Sarah went out and loaded her little car with flat pack boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and a decent pair of scissors – as Andy had decided the kitchen scissors belonged to him. She also called in at the storage facility Roseanne had recommended, was gratified to find that the mention of Roseanne’s name gave her a 10% reduction, worked out how big a space she would need and arranged to bring her belongings along on Sunday afternoon.

It was dark when she came back, but she could see the unmistakeable shape of Abigail’s car parked a little way down the road. Sarah opened up the garage, and with a little bit of manoeuvring, managed to get her car inside and lock the door so that Abigail couldn’t pry.

Bed that night was very inviting and knowing that she would be seeing Jude and her family the next day, and then Millie was coming down to help her go through things and pack on Saturday made Sarah sleep as sound as a bell.


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