Our Kind of Love

By: Victoria Purman

He took another look around the beautifully appointed home, which reminded him of a Sydney harbourside pad in more ways than one. Water views, all mod cons, bright and white and airy. He could get used to this life, for sure. If only he had the bank balance that came with it.

‘Hey.’ Ry descended the open staircase and tucked a small leather rucksack over one shoulder. ‘You talking about me?’

Julia looked up to her husband. ‘I was just saying how lucky I am to have married you, Ry.’ She shot a wink at Joe. ‘You got everything?’

‘Bags are already in the car. Wallet. Passports.’ Ry took Julia in his arms and pulled her in tight. ‘Wife.’ He planted a smacking kiss on her lips. ‘I’m good to go.’

Julia released herself from her husband’s arms and threw hers around Joe.

‘Thanks for this, Joe.’

‘Are you kidding?’ He shared her affectionate hug. ‘The pleasure’s all mine. I left Middle Point twenty years ago to get away from Mosquito. Living with her again is not quite what I had in mind for this stage of my life. So thanks.’

‘Thanks, mate.’ Ry shook Joe’s hand firmly. ‘Enjoy.’

‘Look after Lizzie,’ Julia called.

‘Will do,’ he replied. ‘Just go ahead and have a great honeymoon. Don’t worry about a thing.’

Joe watched Ry and Julia walked to the door arm in arm. When they were almost at the threshold, he called out after them.

‘You did leave the number of a plumber in case I bugger up the coffee machine, didn’t you?’

Ry’s back stiffened and he turned. ‘You’re joking, right?’

Joe chuckled ‘Get out of here. Enjoy. Eat lots of Italian food for me. The desperate, unemployed and suddenly single bloke from Sydney who’s stuck here in Middle Point.’

Julia laughed and looked back at Joe. ‘Pull the other one. Since when were you from Sydney?’

‘What do you mean? I’ve lived there for almost twenty years.’

She shook her head. ‘Nice try. You can take the boy out of Middle Point but you can’t take Middle Point out of the boy. You were born and bred here, Joe Blake. You can try and hide it all you like but we won’t let you forget it.’

Joe grimaced. There was nothing like being brought back down to earth by people you’d known since you’d worn short pants. There was something about knowing you’d always have a place where people knew exactly who you were, who would always strip away the bullshit. Whether you wanted them to or not.

Ry glanced at his watch. ‘You two kids stopped fighting yet? We’ve got to drive up to Adelaide and catch a plane so I can whisk you away to Rome, JJ.’

‘Whisk away,’ Julia said, and when she gazed up into her husband’s eyes, Joe felt a pang of something weird. Something that shifted the safe marital ground he’d been standing on during his marriage. That look in Julia’s eyes? That dreamy thing women did when they were in love? Jasmine had never looked at him like that. Not once.

The heavy slam of the front door was like an exclamation point on that memory of his marriage.

And then there was silence. Joe looked around the house. The place was damn near perfect. White. Neat. He’d have to make a special effort to keep it looking that way, would have to control his natural tendency to leave newspapers scattered around from arsehole to breakfast, and a dozen coffee cups in the sink.

He sauntered over to the white leather sofas and flopped backwards onto one, resting his interlocked fingers on top of his head. The coffee table made a convenient footrest and he let out a deep sigh.

This was going to be good. Living the high life without the price tag. House-sitting, especially in this house, wouldn’t be a chore. A quick glance to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the sparkling waters of Middle Point and Joe realised he’d have plenty of thinking time.

There been stuff he’d pushed aside, pushed down deep, things he’d been putting off for months. And all that thinking began with the big question.

What the fuck do I do now?



Alex smoothed his perfect hair with the palm of his left hand and glanced over to the staff behind the counter. For what Anna estimated must have been the tenth time.

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