Tony unlocked the door as he let Bren go in before him. Bren looked around herself as she put the bag of money down at the side. Tony grinned as he helped her take off her anorak before going into the kitchen whilst Bren went into the living room.
“I’ll make us a brew. In fact, nevermind a brew, we’ll have a proper drink! We don’t have any champagne, do we? Oh nevermind, beer’ll do!” Tony pottered around the kitchen as he spoke. Bren walked quietly into the living room as she sat on the armrest of the couch. Her head felt like it was swimming. It had been a strange day. A very strange day. She couldn’t really get her mind around it, “I’ll put some crisps out too. We’re celebrating eh? I’ll get on the phone to the estate agent tomorrow, see about us selling this place.” Tony walked into the living room with the bowl of crisps and bottles of beer, “I can also say to Hamish that we’re definitely coming up to Scotland and that we’ll have this place sold in no time!” Tony continued. He then lifted his head as he put the bowl on the coffee table as he spoke when he noticed Bren staring at the ground, her face vacant, “And I can… Bren?”
Bren’s face slowly screwed up as she started to cry. She buried her head in her hands as she cried silently. Tony’s heart dropped as he watched her, quickly putting their beers on the table as he rushed to her. He crouched down in front of her.
“Bren? What’s the matter?” Tony asked.
“Oh, it’s nothing. It’s nothing.” Bren shook her head, wiping her eyes as she sniffled but she continued to cry.
“It’s not nothing, mate.” Tony reassured her. He took her hands as he squeezed them tightly, “Come on, Bren. You can tell me.”
Bren paused for a moment. She took in a deep breath, trying to find the courage to tell him what was going on.
“I just feel strange. I can’t describe it. I don’t even know why I’m crying.” Bren said with a giggle, looking at the tears on her fingers. Her smile slowly dropped, “My mother’s just died and I don’t feel sad but I do. It’s like I’ve lost my world but I haven’t, d’you know what I mean? She brought me such pain but she was my mother. It just feels very, what’s the word? Not pectines. Peculiar. It feels really peculiar.”
“You’re allowed to be upset about it though. She was your mother and it’s a lot to let go of. Especially when you didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.” Tony explained.
“I know but I dunno. Whilst I feel sad, I feel like a weight has lifted on my shoulders.” Bren sniffled as tears fell down her cheeks. She bowed her head as she looked at their hands on her lap, “I feel like I have my life properly. I feel like I’m free. It sounds stupid, I know, but I do.”
“It’s not stupid, mate. I understand. You’ve got your life back, properly. You don’t need to worry about her sweeping in anymore.” Tony reassured her as he squeezed her hands. Bren continued to look at their hands as she breathed shakily, “Do you want to stay here? We can find something else. I don’t want to make you upheave everything after your mother’s died.”
“No, no. I want to go to Scotland. I do. We’re better if we do. We need a fresh start.” Bren lifted her head. Her eyes were slightly bloodshot, her cheeks still wet.
“I guess we do, eh? New beginnings and all that.” Tony nodded, “We don’t have to go straight away though. We can wait a couple of months.”
“No. We’ll get the funeral sorted and then after that, we’ll go.” Bren replied.
“Okay, okay.” Tony said softly. He moved his hands to her cheeks, wiping her tears with his thumbs, “You alright?”
“Mhm. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get upset. We should be celebrating.” Bren moved away from him as she went to lean forward but Tony stopped her.
“Don’t apologise. You don’t need to apologise for anything.” Tony shook his head. He took her hand, squeezing it again, “You sure you’re alright?”
Bren nodded. Tony brought her into his arms as he held her. Bren buried her head into the crook of his neck, sighing as she closed her eyes. Tony rubbed her back, both silent for a moment.
“I love you, Bren.” Tony broke the silence, “You know that, don’t you?”
Bren lifted her head as she looked at him. She nodded with a smile.
“I love you too.” Bren replied. Tony leaned in and kissed her. When they broke it off, they smiled at one another before Bren tapped his shoulder and stood up, “Come on, we’re celebrating. Get those beers open.”
“Are you sure you want to? You don’t feel… you know?” Tony asked.
“I’m alright.” Bren nodded, “I’m alright. I’ve got you, haven’t I? I don’t need to worry anymore.”
“No. No, you don’t.” Tony smiled. He put his arm around her and kissed the top of her head as Bren cuddled into him, “Make sure I don’t wee in the cupboard again, eh?”
“I will.” Bren laughed as she looked at him. She tapped his chest, “Come on, get them open then!”