‘She’s not exactly a looker, but I still would, if you know what I mean. I’m heteroflexible – I’d roide anything’
Illustration: Alan Clarke
“There’s something I want to talk to you about,” Sorcha goes, in her Caps Lock voice – this while I’m enjoying my traditional Monday morning lie-in. She’s like, “Come downstairs when you’re ready,” which anyone familiar with the Deadlier of the Species will recognise as a passive-aggressive way of saying come downstairs right this second.
Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting at the island in the kitchen, still half-asleep, with a mug of coffee in front of me, when my wife goes, “I was talking to JP’s dad. I bumped into him last week in Stillorgan Shopping Centre.”
“Well,” I go, “they do say you’re never more than eight feet away from an estate agent.”
“We ended up having this big discussion about the whole, like, property thing? He was saying it’s definitely the time to buy.”
“That’s because he’s trying to sell you a gaff. If he was interested in buying this gaff from us, he’d be telling you it’s definitely time to sell. This is the shit they teach you on day one, Sorcha.”
“Anyway, Ross, what he said actually registered with me? I was thinking, we have some savings, don’t we? If we took out a small, short-term loan, we could buy an aportment in town.”
I’m like, “Why would we want an aportment in town?”
And that’s when she says it. “It’s not for us,” she goes, “it’s for Honor.”
A smile somersaults across my face. I think I even laugh. I’m there, “For Honor? Babes, I think that’s an amazing idea.”
She’s like, “You do?”
“I definitely do. I think we need our space from her. It’d do us all good.”
Sorcha gives me a look that suggests I’ve possibly got the wrong end of the stick here. “Ross,” she goes, “I’m talking about investing in an apartment that Honor can live in when she goes to college.”
I’m like, “Oh.”
“Are you talking about her moving out? Now?”
“I’m just making the point that it’s not working out, her living here with us.”
“Ross, she’s eight years old.”
“She’s a very independent eight-year-old, Sorcha.”
“I can’t believe you’d let your eight-year-old daughter live by herself.”
“I thought it was what you were suggesting and I was just agreeing that it would be a solution to a lot of problems.”
It’s at that exact point that Honor appears at the kitchen door. Usually, there’s a crack of thunder and lightning when she shows her face, but not this morning.
“I heard every word of that,” she goes.
I just stare straight ahead, terrified of making eye contact with her, just in case she says something hurtful about my weight or my rugby.
“Go and get dressed,” Sorcha goes, “the two of you. I’ve made an appointment at the bank for eleven.”
Sorcha, it turns out, is already halfway down the road with this aportment idea. She’s already got what they call approval in principle and she’s submitted all sorts of paperwork to demonstrate our monthly incomings and outgoings.
Half an hour later, we’re sitting in the bank and Sorcha is warning me and Honor to keep our mouths shut and let her do the talking. Maybe I’ll move into the aportment – yeah, no, I’ll float that idea later.