‘Welcome to Snoresville!’ Erin Dawlish’s younger sister, Zara, said when she opened the front door to Erin.
Erin laughed. ‘It can’t bethatbad.’
‘Don’t you believe it.’ Zara rolled her eyes. ‘Wisteria Hollow is like the most boring village on the planet.’
‘You’re just used to being busy in London.’ Erin picked up her suitcase and carried it over the doorstep. Her twenty-year-old sister was currently studying fashion design in London while Erin lived in Bath where she’d grown up.
‘And I wish I’d stayed there. Trust Mum and Dad to want us all together for a big, old-fashioned family Christmas.’
‘When did you get here?’ Erin asked.
‘This morning. And I’m already bored.’
Erin shook her head. ‘Try to enjoy spending some time together as a family. You know… with Dad having been through a tough few months, we should make the most of having him around.’
Zara nodded. ‘I know. I’ve just been trying not to think about that.’
Erin put her suitcase down and placed a hand on Zara’s arm. ‘Hey… He’s OK now but it should be a lesson to us all that time is precious.’
‘I know.’ Zara sighed then opened her arms and hugged Erin. ‘Anyway, it’s great to see you. I miss you so much.’
‘I miss you too.’
Erin hugged her sister tight. They didn’t see much of each other these days with Zara being at university in London and Erin living in Bath in a house share. As an online English tutor, Erin often worked evenings and weekends, so even though she was self-employed, she didn’t have much flexibility in her working hours.
‘So we have a few weeks together then?’ Zara asked.
‘We do. I’ve signed off for the holidays because not many students want to work over Christmas.’
Zara released Erin then picked up her suitcase. ‘Shall I show you to your room?’
Erin closed the front door behind her then looked around the large hallway. A Christmas tree stood at the centre of the gleaming wooden floorboards, tiny lights twinkling on its branches and more lights had been wound around the banisters of the wide staircase that led up to a mezzanine landing. Her parents had bought the house on Sunflower Street three months ago then moved in six weeks ago after renovating the property. They’d sold their family home in Bath when her dad had retired following a heart attack six months earlier. Her mum had taken early retirement from her job as a senior midwife, and they’d decided to leave the city and move somewhere quieter with a slower pace of life. Their beautiful family home in Bath had sold for a small fortune so they had no mortgage and would, hopefully, be able to spend more quality time together enjoying village life.
As they climbed the stairs, Erin said, ‘I’ve got to be honest though, I thought Mum and Dad were downsizing.’
Zara giggled. ‘Yeah, me too. I guess this house is smaller than the one in Bath but it’s still bigger than a lot of houses they could have bought.’
‘It’s lovely though,’ Erin said.
‘Wait until you see the kitchen!’ Zara led the way off to the right of the landing and along a corridor. At the end, she opened a door and stood back. ‘Your chamber, Mademoiselle.’
Erin entered the bedroom and gasped. ‘Wow!’
The room was large with a double bed straight in front of her with oak bedside cabinets and large sash windows to either side of the bed. Off to her left was a doorway that led to an ensuite and to the right were fitted wardrobes with mirror doors. Zara put Erin’s suitcase down by the bed then gestured at the window closest to the bathroom. ‘Take a look at the view.’
Erin crossed the room and looked out of the window. ‘Bloody hell! It’s gorgeous.’
‘I know, right? Even if it is a bit too quiet here for my liking.’
Erin gazed out of the window at the large rear garden. There were trees and hedges bordering the perimeter, a large willow tree at the centre, a greenhouse and shed towards the far end of the grass and what looked like a gate that led out to fields. And the fields were magnificent, stretching out for as far as the eye could see. With it being December, it was a winter landscape but even so, it was still beautiful.
‘I can see why Mum and Dad decided to buy here.’