Word count: 1151
The next day, Will woke to a call from the removal people, informing him that the lorry would arrive within the hour. Pulling on jeans and jumper, he proceeded to the kitchen to make himself some toast and tea, refusing David's offer of a heartier breakfast to fuel the day's work. The man had been sitting at the table, reading a book in the morning sunlight.
"Nah, thanks. I just want something light." Transferring a couple of slices of bread from the bread box to the toaster, he lit the burner under the kettle.
"The water's hot, so it won't take long." David closed his book and pulled off his glasses, toying with them in his hand.
"They called to say they'll be here soon." Will fetched his tea things as he spoke. "I expect it'll take a nice long time once they get here. They're supposed to have the insurance statement with them. I can't wait to find out which of my things actually survived."
"That'll be fun." The sarcasm in David's tone communicated that he knew it would be anything but. "Well, call me when they start unloading and I'll help with getting you set up."
"No need to interrupt your day. I'm going to make sure they set up everything just right."
"Then call me and we can sit and drink beer while they do all the work." He winked.
"All right." Will pulled out his phone. "What's your number?" David told him, and he dialed it up. His host's pocket started beeping and he fished out his mobile, tapping the screen to silence it and then save the contact.
"Gotcha. Brilliant." David popped to his feet and snatched up his glasses and book. "I'll be upstairs. Call if you need anything."
"Yup," replied Will as the kettle began to sing.
Not long after he finished his breakfast, the arrival of the lorry signaled the beginning of a very long day of hurry-up-and-wait. It took quite a while for the removal men to clear out enough space in front of the house to park the huge vehicle, then they wanted to go over the insurance list in minute detail. By the time they had reviewed it to both their and their client's satisfactions, they wanted to go to lunch, and thus, the actual unloading of the lorry didn't begin until the early afternoon. Will found that David's help was invaluable: he could trust his friend to direct where the items would be placed in the house while he stayed with the lorry and inspected each object as it was unloaded, to make sure it matched its description on the insurance list. David also dashed back to his own house periodically to supply everyone with adequate refreshment: beer for themselves and pop for the removal men, with the promise of beer after their task was done.
By late afternoon, the lorry was gone and all that was left for Will to do was to pack up his things in David's house and cart them over to his own new home. David stood in the doorway of his room as Will began emptying the wardrobe, stuffing his clothes unceremoniously into his suitcase. "I doubt a trip two doors down will be enough to wrinkle this stuff badly."
"Probably not. I can carry an armload over."
"Nah, I got this. I don't have much here." After shuttling all the clothes over, he discovered that not folding the clothes meant they were much bulkier, and even after letting out the expanders, he found he needed to lie on top of it to force it closed. David came over and helped him close the zipper.
"There. Thanks." Popping off the bed, he turned to the desk. "At least the computer is easy." He detached the power cord and stuffed it into the laptop bag. "I called the ISP earlier this week, so they should be installing service by Wednesday, they said. At least I'll be on the web at work."
"You'll get wi-fi from over there."
"Doubt it. Even if I do, the signal will be arse." He closed the laptop and slid it into the case.
"No, should be nice and strong. You don't really need to get your own service."
Will laughed as he piled the laptop bag with the suitcase. "Thanks, mate, but I'm not going to piggyback on yours. Not to mention I've got my gaming tower and my Minecraft server to connect up. Oh, the toilet!" He trotted past David down the hall, returning in a moment with his kit, which he placed on the suitcase. "This is pretty much it."
Turning to David, he held out his hand to his host. "Thanks, David, for everything. Taking care of me when I was sick and letting me stay here this week. It's too much."
David grasped the proffered hand with a warm, genuine smile. "Don't mention it, Will. It was my pleasure."
Pulling him into a brief hug, Will clapped him on the back. As they stepped back, he exclaimed, "Oh, your key!" and began digging in his jeans pocket.
"Oh!" Holding his hands up in front of him, David shook his head. "You keep it. Any time you want to come by and hang out, come right in."
Will held the key out to him. "No, it's your house, mate."
"Right. And I say, you keep that and come visit. I'll get a streaming service, if that'll help."
Will laughed. "All right. Okay." He dropped the key back in his pocket. "But you have to come over, too, when I get all set up."
"I'd like that." David's voice was soft with a hint of shyness.
"Then it's settled." Will slung his laptop case across his body, then picked up the suitcase and kit. David preceded him out of the room and trotted ahead to open the front door for him, standing back to let him through. Once outside, Will turned back to his friend. "Thanks again, mate."
Will trudged down the street to his house. He'd enjoyed his brief stay with his new friend, but was glad to finally be able to move into his own place, to have his own space to inhabit. No matter how hospitable David was - and Will could not have asked for a better host - Will always felt he was intruding. He was looking forward to setting up his bedroom and his lounge, and relaxing in his study playing his favourite online game. There really was no place like home.
Behind him, the tall Scot leaned against the jamb of his front door, the tip of his tongue pressed to the roof of his mouth, watching his friend cart the last of his belongings to his new house. Sighing, he retreated indoors before the object of his attention turned onto the walk to his own front door.