A cat, a turtle, and a Pineapple walk into a cottage…. That’s it. That’s the punch line of my life choices.
“Well, here we are.” Motts closed the solid wooden front door to her new cottage, leaning back against it and releasing a pent-up sigh. She opened her bluish-grey eyes to stare at all the boxes, plastic bins, and bags. “Bugger. You’ve no one to blame but yourself for this, Pineapple Mottley.”
Pineapple Meg Mottley had been so named because her mother had craved nothing but the tropical fruit during her one and only pregnancy. There’d only been one issue. No one ever called her Pineapple; her uncle had nicknamed her Motts as an infant, and it stuck.
The plaintive cry came from behind one of the boxes. Motts moved quickly to lift up her precious cat. Cactus was a tortoiseshell Sphynx cat; she’d found the poor dear at a shelter and fallen head-over-sneakers in love. He buried his head in her shoulder-length brown hair, purring his little heart out.
She stroked the suede-like downy fuzz covering his wrinkly body. “What are we going to do about this mess? Want to help me unpack? No?”
What have I gotten myself into?
When her auntie Daisy had passed away, Motts had taken the inherited cottage as a sign. London had always been overwhelming to her senses. Polperro was a much quieter place with a slower pace suited for her autistic needs.
She loved Polperro. Her parents were both originally from Cornwall. A lot of her family lived in the area, as did her ex-girlfriend.
Despite having spent many a holiday with family at the cottage, Motts found herself overwhelmed by the sudden change. This was a terrible idea. I should’ve sold the house. I am such a silly fool.
Take a few deep breaths.
Match Cactus’s purring.
You’re going to be okay.
“Ahh!” She jumped when a rapid knocking on the door jolted her. “For goodness sake.”
“Motts? You okay?”
She spun around and yanked the door open to find the welcome sight of her ex-girlfriend, Pravina Griffin, and Vina’s twin brother, Nish. “I’m….”
How do I finish the sentence?
In the middle of the biggest mistake I’ve ever made?
Just slightly overcome by irrational fear?
Nish moved forward to take Cactus from her arms while Vina led her inside. “Amma is bringing over supper. She wanted to let the sambar simmer a little longer. She even made your favourite kind of rice.”
The Griffin twins took after their Tamil mother, Leena, who’d been a Bollywood star before falling in love with Cadan Griffin, a Cornish-Indian cricket player. They’d settled in Polperro to run a coffee shop and bakery. Griffin Brews had been around for thirty-plus years, and now their children managed it, allowing their parents to retire early.
Leena and Cadan had welcomed Motts with open arms even before she’d briefly dated their daughter. Motts and Vina had realised over the years that their close bond felt more like that of siblings. They’d dumped each other but remained the best of friends, where they’d started in the first place.
“Let’s talk about something less daunting than unpacking. How goes the dating life? Did you fill out a dating profile on the site I emailed you?” Vina plucked Moss, Motts’s turtle, out of his travel terrarium. “Well?”
“No, I didn’t. There’s no box to check for asexual, biromantic autistic.” Motts gently took Moss to return her to a safer place. “No touching the turtle.”