Sweet Home Evergreen Harbour

It’s Time For Officer Ryan Valentine To Think About Moving. How Will he Settle In A New Neighbourhood?

Spring, Year 4

Ryan smiled as he clicked his phone off. Hayley’s messages and calls had been a lifeline for him lately as he started seriously thinking about getting his belongings packed, ready for the big move. He’d found a two-bedroomed apartment in Evergreen Harbour and, since Elliott would be moving in with him in the summer, he thought it was better to get settled there first. After all, he probably wouldn’t be home that much.

He’d taken a few days of holiday from work to get settled into the new apartment. On moving day, he went for a jog around the new neighbourhood to get a feel for it. It seemed nice, peaceful even and he decided it might not be so bad to live somewhere quieter. Especially if Elliott was moving in with him.

It wasn’t long before Hayley was texting, hoping to come round and see the new apartment. Ryan couldn’t quite believe how quickly he’d fallen for the singer; even though he’d known her at University, it still took him by surprise that they even had anything in common. His father most definitely wouldn’t approve.

Ryan sighed deeply. Elliott was going to be visiting later to see the apartment and check out his room. The two brothers got on well enough but Ryan wondered how long that was going to last once they were living together again. Ryan had moved out several years ago and hadn’t really got to know Elliott much throughout the younger brother’s teens. He was into music whereas Ryan preferred the fitness. He could almost see the clashes between them over music and television. He shuddered.

“Hey buddy!” Elliott grinned and hugged his older brother. “So this is it, eh?”
Ryan nodded. “Yes, it is. Look, I know your room’s pretty small but-”
“Look, Ryan. Let’s cut the crap. I know you don’t really want me here cramping your style and trust me; as much as I love you, you’re not my first choice of flat mate, okay? So let’s not pretend anything here. I’m only here because I can’t go home now that Mum and Dad have turned my bedroom into a freaking nursery. So let’s just admit neither of us are thrilled about it and try to make the best of it, yeah?”

Ryan followed Elliott through to his younger brother’s new room. “You’re right. I can’t believe Dad’s been so ridiculous about this.”
Elliott shrugged. “Mum’s just as bad. She didn’t exactly stand up to him, did she? I could have shared with Chris but apparently that’s not an option. It’s not like I’d be there long, anyway. I’ll be off into my own place as soon as I can!”
Ryan raised his eyebrows. “Do you even realise how much that will cost you?”
Laughing, Elliott winked at his brother. “Of course I do. You did it. Straight out of Uni and into your own flat.”
There really wasn’t an answer to that.

After dropping his brother off at the station, Ryan returned to the flat and reflected. Elliott had made several good points and Ryan did feel a little better at the prospect of them sharing a flat in the summer. After all, for the next two years Elliott would be in Britechester most of the time. So his noise and music wouldn’t bother Ryan that much.
Maybe it would work out after all.

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