The rain pounded outside as Madeleine crept along the road in her quaint and noisy little Mini Cooper, it’s purple skin shone deep in the winter night as a striking hue of red brake lights from in front blinded her. She was drenched from the run between the University campus and the car park, whilst it was only minutes away the torrential rain had blanketed her and uncomfortably she squeaked and shifted in the leather seat. Maddi was impatient to get home, it was gone six and she had left home in the early hours of five to get there to bathe in the quiet before her fellow noisy raucous students arrived. She craved the quiet and although she adored studying, she disliked the crowds of people, the immaturity in social spaces and the library was never peaceful enough when she wanted to work on her research reports. However, she didn’t have the discipline to work from home and so in order to stay on track and achieve the most, she battled early mornings and late nights.
Usually the traffic would have waned by this point but the weather was wreaking havoc and there must have been an accident up ahead as traffic seemed to honk and horn moving from lane to lane. Maddi’s tummy rumbled, her last meal was a soya latte at lunch and the ambition for beans on toast drove deep into her impatience to get home. All around there was anger and frustration, the driver’s she could see had a strict sinister expression sketched across their faces. All were battling rage in the rising mess of trying to get home. Eventually she crept, edging her way home with her taste buds increasing bit by bit and her tummy rumbling louder than the horns going off outside her car.
An hour later than planned she rolled up into the driveway of her tiny terraced house. It was a one bed brick beauty that had been crammed in a long street of slightly bigger homes. Maddi classed her home as the odd one out, the windows appeared wonky and the front door uneven, the garden gate creaked but altogether it was her home. Ever since she could work she had saved penny after penny so that by her mid twenties she was able to invest into this small little fairy house. Whilst her friends partied in Ibiza and skied in Austria, Maddi jumped from one job to the other, balancing her education in between and the reward of having a key to her own front door was well worth the sweat and strain.
Once Maddi stepped inside she pulled her long ash blonde hair into a messy bun above her head, kicked her boots to one side and precariously balanced her sodden coat over the radiator. Dashing upstairs she quick changed into woolen pajamas and grabbed a huge fluffy towel to dab her damp skin dry. Trampling back down to the kitchen she grabbed a small copper kettle, boiled herself a large mug of tea and made work on achieving the main goal of beans on toast decorated with brown sauce. The warmth tingled her fingertips and as she stood against the counter tucking in, sauce dribbled down her jumper. However, she finally felt calm.
It was moving into mid-January and the last of the Christmas lights had been dismantled and removed from the houses around her. A few had thrown their broken and limp trees into the street which created a web of sadness in Madeleine’s heart. January was the grieving process. It was as if a blanket of magic had been torn from her imagination, the beauty of the festive season had passed and now everything was as it was. Soaked in grey. This dull period had weighed heavy on Maddi’s mind but she had managed somehow to tear herself from her bed every morning and get back into the routine of study and work.
Gone eight and Maddi trundled into the living room having cleaned the kitchen and quickly checked her e-mails. She collapsed down in front of the fireplace, lighting up the coal and leaned back against the coffee table switching on the News. It took all of a minute for her to turn it back off again. She was exhausted enough than to deal with the universal trauma that was going off. Sipping her tea Maddi bathed in the slow warmth that began to ooze from the fireplace. Her hair had kinked and curled from the rain and her skin was baggy and soft.
Closing her eyes Madeleine finally felt the peace she had craved for all day. The noises and disturbances that gave her the shivers began to drift away back out the front door into the cold night air. She was bathed in the light of the fire, the comfort the embers produced and the simplicity of the ashes falling away to the floor. Home truly was where the heart is. Maddi knew she could never live this moment every day and as much as she craved this, it would be gone before it began. However, as she eventually crept into bed and curled under the soft cotton sheets that enveloped thick cushion duvets, her mind rested for the first time in a long time. And getting up the next morning was made just that little bit easier.