That was the last diary entry I wrote.
So I will have to fill in the rest of the gaps from memory, and it is hazy to say the least.
Mum left, on the Sunday night.
We had a really really lovely time.
We told her about the flat and she offered to lend us £200.
We said we would let her know before she lent it – as we didn’t know if we were going to get the flat or not.
Monday came and we hadn’t heard anything, and I remember it was torture having to be in the car then – not knowing if our time was coming to an end or not.
Ryans parents got hold of us, and after a lengthy argument with Ryan I told him to speak with them. He hadn’t spoken to them for months for his own reasons – but I knew they were desperate to speak with him.
I knew because they rang often, and Ryan would ignore the calls and texts. I knew because my Dad wasn’t doing the same, and he had no idea where we’d gone or what had happened to us. I didn’t hear from him once while we were in the car.
I told Ryan that one day his parents wouldn’t be here anymore. And that he would regret ignoring them while there were here. And trying to talk to him.
I also told him that if we got back on our feet and started a family, it would be cruel to not let them be a part of that.
He rang them back.
They straight away wanted to come and see us, and Ryan begrudgingly explained we were living in a car.
They came a few days later, and took us into Plymouth for lunch. It was horridly awkward.
They’d brought the family dog with them, and she jumped all over Ryan and wouldn’t
leave him alone. It was obvious then that we’d been gone too long, and that we were missed more than we realised.
And Ryan’s dad offered to pay for me to get some contact lenses from Specsavers.
I put them in and saw myself properly for the first time in weeks.
I was thin. And grey. My hair was lank and I didn’t look well at all.
The moment I saw myself I regretted it, and wanted to hide away from everyone because I was so ashamed of how I looked.
But Ryans parents were lovely, and wanted to know everything that happened. Ryan was awkward with them so I ended up talking the most. Before they left they asked for my bank details.
I felt really uncomfortable then, like I was sponging from total strangers – but they wouldn’t let it rest so I gave them.
Ryans mum transferred enough money into my account for us to afford the flat, and then some. It was the most generous gift I’d ever received – bar Sarah’s food parcel.
Then they were gone.
It was really weird then, spending the next few days in the car.
All this money in the bank but still eating carefully.
On the 12th September 2013, I got a phone call from the estate agent.
They had accepted our application and if I wanted it – the flat would be ours.
All I had to do was go to the office with the correct amount of money in cash. And they’d hand me the keys. Just like that.
That evening, once Ryan had finished work we made a plan.
I would get the bus into the city centre. Get the cash from the bank. Take the train to Liskeard. Pay the money and collect the keys. Then I’d be in the flat. Ryan would tell his work he was in a flat. He would take a van, and meet me with all our belongings from the car, at the flat.
And we would be in, officially.