Yesterday I sold my flat, the flat where I grew up. However, I didn't sell my childhood home, I sold the home I bought over 10 years ago, the flat that saw happiness, heartbreak, meals with friends, laughter, tears (and not always mine), friendship, work, work, work and that finally saw me leave Leamington Spa in a Cantabrigian direction and engaged to be married to the love of my life.
I rented out the flat (until then my home) when I moved out and haven’t been back since. I still remember the moment I closed the door for the last time, there was no art on the walls once lined with paintings, no photos, no books… In summary, nothing to say it was ever mine, other than the furniture I had so carefully chosen through the years and my name on a contract making me the landlord (“landlord?!” but I’m a girl, anyway, that’s another matter). I remember that my now husband gave me a minute alone with my flat, we said goodbye, I switched off the lights, closed the white door, locked it and walked down the stairs to say good bye to the building, the gardens, the car park and finally to Leamington Spa as I left (cramped in a two-seater, my lap and legs covered with the last of my belongings) to start our new life together in Cambridge.
It’s strange to think that there won’t be any more DVD dinners with my friend Broadbeans, who I miss dearly, but through the years we did make the most of them, we got to know the Sex and the City girls intimately and related to a lot of the storylines of relationships, lack thereof and heartbreak, I even threw a party the Friday night that the last episode ever of Sex & the City was being shown: we dressed up, made cocktails and watched the episode twice. I remember creating an invitation and gluing pictures of Mr Big, Aidan and Berger to a door so that everyone could vote which one we thought or wanted Carrie to end up with.
It was Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha who, along with Lolerai and Rory Gilmore and, most importantly, my very best friends in the world, got me through some of the toughest times of my life. Those friends were and remain my soulmates, our lives may have changed and our friendship may have evolved, in some cases so much that we never actually speak anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they are not in my thoughts, that I don’t remember everything they have done for me throughout the years: the good times and the bad times.
For me it’s the end of an era, even if I closed that white door over two years and a half ago, it still feels like the door is closing on a whole period of my life that made me who I am, the person who my husband fell in love with. What’s more, that closed white door, those turned pages that fill up the book of my late twenties and early thirties open a new door for my family and that in itself, just like those friendships, is absolutely priceless.