Never Enough HoursThey were in the days when you loved me…

‘I can’t find anyone to work in the kitchen,’ Cassie says; she is frying ribeye steaks.

I am standing in the doorway of our second bedroom, filled with boxes untouched from our move over three months ago. We still haven’t had time to decorate, and on days like today, I wonder if we made the right move. Everything seems so chaotic. I close the bedroom door blanking out the mess and wander through to the kitchen. The apartment is less than half the size of my last home in London, and I miss the space. And I am beginning to miss city life.

‘Cheers!’ Cassie lifts her wine glass and hands me another. We clink them together, and our lips meet in a brief kiss.

‘I thought your friend Sophie knew a chef?’ I say.

‘She did, but Liz has taken a job on the Ship – more money – she said.’

Cassie forks the meat onto the plate and takes the chips from the oven.

I move over to the bistro table in the window and look down into the High Street, and I am filled with a sense of calm. It’s a pretty road with an assortment of colourful boutiques and home interior shops that sell expensive sea-side-themed cushions, boats and lanterns. Opposite our flat is a lovely bookshop, and a couple, walking hand in hand, huddle against the wind and disappear into the microbrewery two doors down.


‘Hungry?.’ Cassie places our dinner on the table, and I refill our glasses. ‘You look exhausted. You are working too hard,’ she adds.

‘It’s just that this place is such a mess. I don’t know where to begin sorting it out.’

Cassie’s eyes darken. ‘I don’t have time to keep house and open my business. There aren’t enough hours. Close your eyes, Molly,’ she grins. ‘What matters if everything isn’t organised and in the right place? Don’t you think this is much more fun than everything being so perfect?’

‘You told me you liked tidy.’ I cut the steak and relish its juices on my tongue. ‘You said you didn’t mind me being a neat freak.’

‘This is more exciting though, isn’t it?’ She uses her fingers to eat a chip. ‘It’s like camping.’

‘I would like to unpack and find a space for the rest of our clothes-‘

‘But it’s not the end of the world, is it?’

‘No, but-‘ Cassie silences me by pushing a chip between my lips.

‘Lighten up, Molly. You’ve become very serious, and it doesn’t suit you. Don’t you remember the fun we used to have when we met? You would meet me after a show, and we’d go for dinner?’

‘Of course, I do.’ Cassie had been a singer and dancer in the West End. She had never taken the lead part, but she had been in the chorus of most of the musicals in London in the past four years; Greece, Les Mis, Billy Elliott.

‘They were in the days when you loved me….’

‘I still do,’ I smile.

‘You don’t show it.’

‘It’s work and commuting every day. I seem to spend more time on the train….’

‘Give it all up. Come and work with me in the cafe,’ she says excitedly. ‘We’d be a real team.’

‘But I can’t. We can’t afford to pay us both at the moment with all the bills coming in,’ I pause with a wine glass halfway to my lips. ‘Besides, this is your dream, Cassie. It would be my nightmare. I would hate to work in a cafe. It’s the last thing in the world that I would want.’

I don’t add that unless she opens very soon, I won’t be able to finance this venture much longer.