Lucy & Freya

By A. Rogers

Friday night.

There is something so freeing and terrifying about being in a new place, a new environment, a new city, a new town. Invisibility is the greatest fresh start. 

We just put the couch in the living room. It’s brown with green and deep red cushions. The coffee table will come on Monday, and Freya is currently making the bed for our first night in our new apartment. 

Toiletry bags sit precariously on the bathroom sink. I open the doors to the hidden four-shelf cupboard behind the mirror to reveal four empty shelves. I place the makeup on the bottom shelf, turning each bottle so the labels face outwards, so that I never have to worry about grabbing the wrong one. I put my perfume and deodorant next to the makeup and my Panadol and medicines neatly on the third shelf from the bottom. Medicines and hairbrushes, cotton buds and moisturisers are all shared between us. I place a glass jar on the sink, and in it, my toothbrush. Leaving plenty of space for Freya’s belongings. 

Saturday morning.

Bristles askew, red body browning, the toothbrush sits in its new glass by the tap like a dead tree in a city park. How could Freya use that thing? My toothbrush sits next to it, shiny, with a white body and green lines zipping up its sides. Picking up the decaying red toothbrush, I drop it into the bin under the sink and rinse the glass of its remnants. I open the drawer under the basin to find the replacement toothbrushes I stored there last night, and put a purple one next to my own. Looking in the mirror, I push my red hair behind my ears and smooth back the flyaway strands.

I walk into the dining room where Freya is lounging with her feet up on the table, reading a book and sipping her black coffee. She’s wearing a singlet and pyjama pants with little pandas on them. Her hair is black and cut into a bob. Sharp features and long legs, she looks straight out of a Peter Alexander advertisement. 

Noticing me, she looks up from her book and smiles.

‘How should we spend our first Saturday in our new home?’

I pull up a seat across from her.

‘We should definitely check out the area. Maybe hit that coffee shop down the street?’ 

‘Yes, my love, and take the coffees to the park so I can finish this re-read. I really do think it was written by Mrs Fitzgerald,’ she says, tapping on her book, ‘or he was gay. Otherwise, why in all honesty is Nick constantly staring at Jay’s crotch?’ 

I’ve never read or watched Gatsby.

Freya stands behind me and kisses the top of my head. 

‘Give me two seconds,’ she says, squeezing my shoulder as she heads towards the bathroom. She turns back to face me. 

‘Oh, and take your hair out from behind your ears. You look so much prettier with it framing your face.’ 

I do as she says. 

The window by the table looks out onto a quiet street, where a little blue house sits with its little lush lawn and a little red mailbox. At my old place the window in my room didn’t look towards anything nearly as quaint and lovely as this. The window saw a single tree and a grey building. I watched that tree bloom and shed every year for the past three years and now I’ll never see birds sit on it or mice run up its trunk again. We moved here for Freya’s new job, I remind myself. And what were you going to do there that you can’t do here?

‘You ready?’ calls Freya. 

Saturday night.

I love a hot shower. Nothing is better than stepping into warm water and stepping out into a warm towel. Hair dripping onto the bathmat, I open the cupboard door to grab a brush and immediately stop cold. My makeup and perfumes have been squashed to one side of the bottom shelf, my perfumes too, and she’s shoved her makeup and perfumes haphazardly onto the same shelf, brushes and bottles poised to drop. She’s moved the cotton buds and medicine to the second top shelf and put the rest of her stuff in that one. 

Earlier this afternoon I asked Freya to finish unpacking her bathroom bags. She has somehow managed to take that as ‘rearrange the entire bathroom cabinet.’ Why do people move things without asking?

I grab the cotton buds and the medicine and move them back to their rightful shelf, and squish Freya’s makeup onto its own shelf. I take three of her one hundred moisturisers and put them on the empty shelves. Then I close the cabinet door. It makes a slight thud, and squeals on its old hinges. 

That’s the thing with this new apartment. It’s so old that with the slightest force, everything screams back at you. The last place I lived at was loud, but it was an expected loud. There were cars and the hustle and bustle of a city. This place… this place just makes noise for the sake of making noise. 

 Sunday morning.

I stir in our new bed and walk to the kitchen before Freya wakes up. I turn the kettle on and stare out at the morning. The owner of the little blue house is sitting outside in her little brown chair, hands clasped over her long burgundy skirt. She notices me and waves her tiny hand. I wave back. The kettle clicks, and I ready the camomile tea with honey for me, and some instant coffee for Freya. 

The wooden floorboards creak. 

‘My love, you made coffee.’ Freya comes behind me and hugs me as I stir my tea.

Her embrace is warm, and I sigh. 

‘How is the place feeling?’ she asks.

‘Mmm,’ I say, leaning into her warmth. I’m inherently a cold person so the move to a colder place is a strange change. ‘It’s—’

‘Isn’t it lovely,’ she says, cutting me off.

I nod. 

‘First day at my new job.’ She smiles.

‘Hence the coffee,’ I say, turning to face her.

‘Pfft,’ she laughs, picking up the mug and kissing my forehead. ‘Handing out resumes today for you?’

I lift my tea to my lips. 

Sunday night. 

I’m staring at the cabinet. The stupid cabinet with its four shelves. On the top two shelves are cotton buds, hairbrushes, moisturisers, and medicine. The third shelf holds more moisturiser, perfumes, Freya’s makeup, some of mine, hair ties, hair products, hair protection serums. Bottom shelf holds my makeup, more of Freya’s makeup, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and new face masks that I’m assuming she bought after work today. 

Why is there so much crap in here? 

I feel my face going red. She’s moved it all again. I slam the cupboard door closed and eye my pyjamas resting on the sink. I pick them up and throw them on the ground. 

‘Lucy?’ There’s a knock behind me. ‘Lucy? What’s up?’

‘Nothing, go away.’ My voice holds zero shred of believability. 

‘Lucy, I’m coming in.’ The door squeaks open like all the stupid old doors in this stupid old house stupidly do.

‘I’m fine.’ I sniffle and sit on the floor, my back against the glass shower door, my legs hit the bin. The only thing in it is the gunk covered red toothbrush.

‘Whatcha doin’ Lu?’

She only calls me ‘Lu’ when she’s worried.

‘Sitting,’ I say, turning my face to her. She’s gorgeous, like always.

‘Lu, what’s up?’

‘The cabinet is all wrong.’ 

She opens the door. ‘Where do you want things?’ 

‘I want the bottom one. You get the one above it and then we both share the top ones.’ 

‘Okay, we can do that.’ She closes the cabinet and sits on the floor next to me, her back leaning on the glass door. She grabs my pyjamas, puts them on her lap and then holds my hand. ‘Did today not go well?’


‘You know we’ll work it out together. There’s no rush. We only just got here.’ 

‘I know.’ I look at our hands and massage her thumb with mine. Freya leans closer and pulls me into a hug. I stare up at the cabinet. I want to rip it from the wall. 



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