Next year they will celebrate their 10th anniversary as a couple. Sarah wouldn’t even have remembered unless she had stumbled across a couple of old e-mails and texts Michael sent her, back in the days.
A lot of it is good, full of happy memories and the sense of home. In many ways, more than she would sometimes like to think about, Michael is her home. Barchester has become her city but it’s never been part of her, the way she wonders if it will be part of their kids who have lived here their entire lives.
A lot of it is good, but recently the stress of everything has sort of collapsed over their heads like a giant rain cloud. First, years ago, she had suspected Michael was cheating on her, that he would run away and leave her once their passionate everyday life became an ordinary everyday life with kids and diapers and bills to pay. She’s always been the one who wanted that bit, at least the one who wanted it more than he did.
Having children has changed him, absolutely, but Sarah can’t get away from the thought that part of him is still the same Peter Pan guy she met ten years ago. He who would crack jokes to avoid serious discussion and make out with her instead of answering her questions about their possible future.
Then it’s the third child. Little Barney. Never something he wanted. He had, in fact, protested wildly at first. Sarah had wanted it so much that he didn’t have it in her to consider his feelings at all. There are days when Michael seems to remain in that situation, leftover irritation and objections still there.
And now they’re here, in a new home.
Sarah has, after much consideration, taken out a loan to be able to buy them a house in Barchester City. A house with perfect possibilities to run her own business downstairs, at the first floor. Michael hadn’t been on board at first. Still isn’t, some days. He claims they had less risks living in their rented flat, that he much prefers having savings over being chained to a bank for the rest of his life, trying to pay back they money they’ve been given.
It’s something they still discuss, every day. Which seems like a waste of time to Sarah since they’re here now, they’ve already made the decision. She now owns a home business, a beauty salon called “Beautiful day” and as far as she’s concerned they have to make the best of it.
Zoey likes their new place, too. She’s a city girl, raised with playgrounds and cars everywhere.
She’s started school and loves it but claims she wants to help Sarah work in the salon, as well.
They both make sure she dedicates herself to the school tasks, though, reminding her that if she does want to work in a beauty salon one day she will need to know how to read and count.
Getting it ready for the opening has been a lot of work. More than she could have imagined, to be honest. She’s painted the walls herself and built the shelves in the evenings when the kids are asleep.
It’s not the fanciest place in the city but it’s going to be great, she can feel it. She’s never been this thrilled about work ever before and she won’t even allow Michael’s pessimism to quell her spirit.
“He’s still not convinced it was a good thing to do?” Kiera asks when they meet up for a work out session.
“He’s still pouting about the move, yeah.” Sarah slams her knuckles into the sandbag.
“I’m sure he’ll come around to the idea, Sarah.”
And it’s easy for Kiera to be sure of something like that. Her husband is the nicest person Sarah has ever met, Kiera aside. If Thom Hiller’s wife wanted to move to the moon and put up a small colony there, he’d probably sign up for a Move to the Moon class right away.
Michael isn’t like that and Sarah has never mourned the fact before. Now, though, she’s not sure.
“Settling down in new context takes time,” Kiera adds. “When I moved out to the farm… well, took me months to feel like it was something I could do.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t have to do anything here.”
Which is true. Apart from taking care of the kids whenever he can, Michael doesn’t help out at all with the salon. It was never part of the plan, Sarah isn’t going to force her dream down someone else’s throat, after all.
Sarah works there. Day and night. Often the kids are down there with here, “helping out”.
Well, at least Zoey is and she’s extremely proud over this fact.
It’s going to be great.
Sarah will just keep telling herself this until it’s a truth, etched on the very walls in here.
* Sarah and Michael went from 100 to 70 during this session. No idea why, but they kept arguing and annoying each other. Then they ACR-woohooed themselves back to 100. LOL.