Wazzer gets home from the women’s business meeting to find her flatmate-cum-landlady, Willow, perched in the breakfast nook. “Hey, mate, how’s it going? Want to order pizza?
“I – yes, that would be lovely. Here’s your corset back. Thank you so much!”
“So, how’d the long weekend go? Hot guy? Steampunk Ball? Hey? Hey?”
Willow turns pink. “It went so well. I had such a good time. You would have loved the clothes. Such great people in Oumaru.”
“Including your boyfriend, Owen?” Wazzer grins.
Willow goes red. “He’s thinking of coming up in two weeks. Winona’s having a midwinter party -”
“Yeah, she told me. So you guys can hang out here!”
“And, um, are you okay staying somewhere else that weekend?”
“Hey, he’s your boyfriend, he’s gonna stay in your room, right?”
Willow says nothing. She simply flushes beet-red.
“Aw, come on, you can’t be that loud!” Wazzer half-shouts.
“Please, Wazzer!” Willow’s face, purple with embarrassment now, is really anguished. “I haven’t had a proper boyfriend in years. And never when I’ve had a flatmate. Just Friday night?
Wazzer sighs. “I’ll figure something out.” Then she clumps upstairs in her platform boots, pizza forgotten. In all her other flats, everyone pretended not to hear flatmate rumpy-pumpy, and a stranger in the morning kitchen was greeted with a nod. But it was easier in a sprawling six-person villa than in Willow’s compact townhouse.
What a frickin’ day. In her room, Wazzer waits for her wheezy laptop to start up. Then she looks up plane fares to Amsterdam.