Lizzie looked out of her bedroom window for the last time. Through the grey light and raindrops she could see the removals men carrying her life out in dull brown packing crates. Her bed and the sticker covered chest of drawers that had long dominated this room were already inside. And it wasn’t as though they were just moving house. She was being uprooted.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if Mum and Dad just wanted to live somewhere nicer in Twickenham. That she would have been okay with. She agreed with them when they said they wanted a bigger house. Her parents had bought this house the year before she and twin brother Noah had been born and they were outgrowing it.
If her parents had suddenly announced they were moving somewhere larger but not moving out of Twickenham she would have been happy. A larger house was something she could show off to her friends. But they were moving north; and not just by a mile or two. Her parents were moving them all to Leicestershire. What the hell ever happens in Leicestershire? Lizzie hadn’t even been sure where it was when Mum had said where they were going; it was just north. She’d wondered whether it might be next to Scotland. It wasn’t anything that interesting. It was just in the middle.
Until they mentioned the idea of moving she’d thought her parents were as happy here. She was so why couldn’t they be? She’d asked them why they were moving. She’d asked them what was so wrong with Twickenham. She’d asked them what was so important they move now. Mum had answered all her questions. It was just the answers made no sense to Lizzie. Mum had talked about opportunities; to get away from the big city and enjoy a quieter, easier pace of life. To Lizzie that sounded like hell. Lizzie liked the big city. Why would she want to get away from it?
She’d Googled the village where their new house was. It was tiny. There were less people living in it than in the road they lived on; had lived on she corrected herself. Looking around this empty room she couldn’t claim to be living here now.
All that was left to show that she’d ever lived in here were the marks on the walls from the Blu-Tack that had held her posters up. Very soon even that would be gone. Her father had arranged or the entire house to be redecorated before the new owners moved in. In two weeks this room, her room, would belong to a ten year old girl who would, no doubt, cover the newly painted walls with her own posters. Part of Lizzie cringed at the thought of One Direction covering these walls.
Down below she saw the shutters on the back of the first van close. In a minute or two everything she owned would drive away; everything except her clarinet. That would be travelling with her in Dad’s car. She wasn’t going to let anyone else take care of her most prized possession.
As the van moved away she saw Michelle standing on the opposite pavement. She’d been Lizzie’s best friend since nursery school. They’d been in all the same classes together ever since but not anymore. When school started up again, Lizzie would have no friends. She hated that more than anything else. She’d asked Mum whether she could stay with Michelle’s family so she could carry on at school down here. Mum had given her that look; the exasperated one. She knew instantly she would not win the argument.
Lizzie waved at her friend. Michelle didn’t reply; she hadn’t seen her. She thought for a second about opening the window and calling her friend to join her. The emptiness of her room though, made her reconsider. In truth she didn’t want to be here, not like this. She headed down the stairs and slalomed her way through the various men packing up their lives into boxes or ferrying appliances and pieces of furniture outside to the second van.
There was more than an hour before they’d be finished and her father would want to be away.
She was going to spend as much of that as possible with her best friend.