4 / home sweet home

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After writing off Monday as a recovery day, during which Ishaana hardly moved from the sofa while she and Melody slobbed together in front of the TV and ordered a questionable Chinese takeaway, Tuesday passed in a similar manner

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After writing off Monday as a recovery day, during which Ishaana hardly moved from the sofa while she and Melody slobbed together in front of the TV and ordered a questionable Chinese takeaway, Tuesday passed in a similar manner. Reading week was always an odd time, when Ishaana couldn't quite face spending an entire week at home with nothing to do, but there wasn't much else going on in the house she shared with her friends. Pearl was still in Edinburgh, where she would be for a few more days, and it was times like that when a house of three people seemed incredibly small.

On Wednesday morning, Ishaana woke up with a vow that she would do something with her day, forcing herself out of bed when she awoke at half past nine. Yawning as she rolled out, she cracked her back on the way down to the kitchen, padding down the stairs to find that Melody was already up. She was sat at the table with a plate of toast in front of her, half a slice in one hand and her phone in the other. Her left thumb idly scrolled through her various notifications as she munched, and she looked up with a smile when she heard Ishaana shuffle in.

"Hey!" she said with a bright grin, dropping her toast. "You're up early."

Ishaana laughed. "You can talk," she said, yawning again as she dragged herself to the kettle and she slumped against the counter when she flicked it on, impatiently waiting for the water to boil. Making tea was always the first thing she did in the morning and the last thing she did at night, often making her way through five or six cups a day, and her feet carried her to the kettle any time she was in the kitchen. "How'd you sleep?"

"Pretty well," Melody said, tearing her toast in half and crunching the crust. "I was thinking I might head home for a couple of days. Well, no, I am heading home for a couple of days, to see Mum. D'you wanna come?" She lifted her tea to her lips, the steam fogging up her glasses, and she sighed her irritation as she plucked them off her nose to wipe the lenses. "I fed Tigger; she should be fine for a day or two."

Ishaana pursed her lips, pouring herself a cup of Earl Grey and adding a splash of milk before she joined Melody at the table, folding herself into a seat and crossing her arms. "Yeah, I will," she said. "Priya wants me to come home anyway. And I have fuck all to do here."

Melody smiled, setting her glasses down as she sipped her tea. She had the most fascinating eyes, a murky grey that sometimes appeared blue or green, the colour shifting in the light, but they were always hidden behind her glasses when she refused to get contact lenses. She hated anything going near her eyes, and the thought of putting in contacts every day was enough to make her retch. "Awesome," she said with a smile. "I already texted Mum. She said she'd love to go for lunch – you're included in that, of course. If you want. No pressure."

"No, I'd love to," Ishaana said. She smiled and sipped her tea, more than comfortable with the idea of spending a day with Melody and her mother. They had been her surrogate family when her own had fallen apart, clinging at the pieces that had never made a whole. "Thanks, Mel. Sure you don't mind me hanging on?"

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