Tickets - Novella - Chapter 2b

 "It must be someone teaching Henry to put his rubbish in a bin.  He's always getting the train to his mum's and I bet he never puts the tickets in the bin.  Someone working in the train station watched him every week and decided to play a trick on him.  They picked up the tickets and followed him home to put them through the letter box to teach him to put his rubbish in the right place.  Next you'll get coffee cups and tissues and sandwich wrappers.  Not that all that rubbish would look too strange lying about here.  Maybe it's already started."  Interesting theory.  Makes more sense than anything Henry's come up with.  His best idea was that he's been time travelling and is leaving himself hints about it.
    "But why wait five years collecting tickets?"  Now both are stumped.  And Angie's not happy about it.  She hates being proven wrong.  But she's not good with riddles and mysteries and puzzles, so it's not much fun to be on her team playing games.  Can't even do a crossword in the newspaper without it ending up in a fight because she's proven wrong in any guess of a tricky word.
    "Where is Henry tonight anyway?  I thought he'd be here.  He's  here all day every day with nothing to do.  See, that's why it would be good for him to go back to university.  There'd be something for him to do each day since he doesn't have work."
    "Actually, Hen found a part time job."  He's never out of a job for long.  It's just that interviews don't suit him.
    "That's good.  Now he won't be scrounging off his parents."  There we go.  Only took her twenty minutes to say it today.  She just can't get over the fact that Henry's parents have money.  Like it's a crime to have a little more than other parents.
    "He doesn't ask for it.  They just give him some when he's out of work."  Which does happen to be quite often, but he does try to keep a job, or find one when he has to.  They probably would give him more if he just asked, but he's never had to and doesn't know how.  That's why he got that stupid high interest loan.
    "Nice for some.  Are those carrots perfectly chopped yet?"  Keep chopping.  Carrots, onion, broccoli, whatever.  Just keep chopping.  And munch a little more.  That would be good.  Munch.  "You know, they'll probably pay for his course too.  Maybe they're the ones who sent the prospectus.  He won't have to worry about debt in his life."  Yes.  Munch.  Keep munching.  "Our poor child will always be surrounded by debt.  Her parents.  Her friends, her own life.  No one has a chance anymore."  This from the woman who a few minutes ago suggested that a deposit for a house wouldn't be a problem because of parental gifts.  Munch.  Just munch.  Bite your carrot.  "Hey!  I'm hungry too.  Leave some carrots for the dinner."
    Fish and chips would be good right now.  But Angie doesn't want to get fat.  Or fatter than she is with the baby anyway, so not even a cheap chip shop takeaway is acceptable.  No, there's no point in starting that debate again.  Even though Angie likes to bring it up frequently.  But it would be so good.  All that batter.  And salt and, well, no vinegar because Angie can't stand that either.  She used to like fish and chips.  She used to eat more than her share.  Maybe she'll be back to sneaking chips and chocolate and ice cream again after the baby is born.  She won't be as sensitive and, it's not crazy, it's hormonal, but she won't be like that just as much after.
    "He's out with Janice tonight." Still creepy as hell to think about.  How he actually enjoys spending so much time with that prude is a mystery Angie can't even stab a guess at.
    "Really?  You know that's lasted longer than I expected.  Do you think she cares that he only has a part time job?  She seems like such a career woman, you think she'd want to be with someone similar.  Maybe she sent him the prospectus!  That's a smart hint.  I should send one to you."  She laughs, but it goes against all she's just preached about the unending debt of their future.  No better time to approach it, though.
    "Maybe you should."  Angie is just as bad at reading jokes as she is with solving a puzzle.  She laughs when it's not called for.
    "You want to re-live your student days with Henry?  Ha ha, wouldn't that be the dream?"  It would be.  Without Henry.  "I didn't think Henry would be interested in hospitality or travel and tourism.  And in Surrey?  He'd really move?  He's lived in Newton Abbott all his life.  Maybe Janice is hinting at a short term relationship.  He's a bit late to apply anyway, courses will be starting next month."
    "Actually there's a January start.  For some courses.  Sometimes.  I think I heard that."  Angie's surprised shrug shows nothing was revealed in that slip up.  It is a good thing she is bad at reading clues.
    "Well if he leaves in January that's almost perfect timing for the baby.  As long as she doesn't arrive too early."  She?  Again.  Angie is determined to make it a girl by pure ignorant belief that it will be.  "So should I move in here?  If Henry's thinking of leaving, it would be perfect timing anyway.  We also don't have to worry about finding a new place that's close enough to your work without spending more on rent.  Of course I'd have to spend a bit to get it looking nicer in, oh, most rooms.  I have to feel at home here too.  It won't be just your place anymore.  It'll be ours.  It sounds perfect to me."  Of course it does.  Less of Jacob, more of Angie, that's the idea, isn't it?  The more Angie can take over, the better.  It does make sense, though.
    "What about your place?  Can you stay there until January?  Is that the end of the six months?"  Perfect timing.  It's like she planned this all along.
    "Ah.  No.  I have to move out at the start of November.  But maybe Henry won't mind an extra little person in the house for one month."  Yeah, because he doesn't complain every time Angie stays over and cleans up his organised mess, leaving him unable to find anything.  "Or we can ask my mum on Sunday if she could house a homeless eight month pregnant daughter for a month.  The commute would be longer, but at least it would only be for a couple of weeks before maternity leave."
    "I'm sure it'll be fine.  We'll sort it out."  Have to.  Nothing's going to change about this situation, but it's going to change everything else.  Three months to live it up.
    "Keep stirring.  I don't want lumps in the sauce.  It'd be ruined.  Don't ruin it."