‘Have I told you that I’m thinking of building a house?’ my daughter said to me over breakfast.
‘What?’ I frowned, whipping my paper down to look at her. ‘A house?’
‘Ayup,’ she nodded, casually munching on a croissant as she scrolled through her phone. ‘Renting is getting too costly.’
‘So you’re… building a house?’ I frowned. ‘Where did that come from?’
‘A general desire to own property in a market built to sustain the land-owning class,’ she yawned, double-tapping a photo of a friend’s vacation.
‘Do you even have any idea how much it will cost?’
‘Some,’ she nodded. ‘I’ve got to find a professional team of residential architects around Melbourne before I can dial in a figure, though.’
‘Right, right,’ I said, my mind racing with all of the reasons this was a bad idea.
‘I bet your mind is racing with all of the reasons this is a bad idea,’ she said, finally looking up from her phone with a smirk.
‘No, it isn’t,’ I scowled defiantly. ‘You don’t know everything, young lady.’
‘I mean, I know a bit,’ she shrugged, going back to her phone. ‘For instance, I know you’re about to ask me—’
‘How much does an architect cost in the Melbourne CBD, anyway?’ I asked before I could help myself.
‘Enough!’ she laughed. ‘They cost enough! Worth every cent though, if I can build my dream home.’
‘Your dream home,’ I said softly. ‘Does that mean that… he will be moving in with you?’
‘Go on,’ she laughed. ‘Say his name.’
‘Max,’ I grunted through gritted teeth. ‘Will Max be moving in with you.’
‘I don’t know, actually,’ she mused, pressing a hand to her chin. ‘Good question. I’ll ask him.’
‘You’ll, you’ll what—’
She cut me off with another peal of laughter.
‘You’re too easy,’ she cackled. ‘No, he isn’t moving in with me! This is supposed to be my house, for me. I don’t want to share. Not yet anyway.’
‘Okay,’ I sighed, my heart settling back into a healthy rhythm.