Laughter and Lamingtons
Jason gave me a quick peck on the cheek and was gone, leaving me alone, jetlagged and wondering what on earth I’d done flying to the other side of the world. He’d been called to an emergency at the hospital where he worked as a doctor.
I met Jason when he holidayed in America and after a whirlwind romance, he proposed and we married before he flew back to work in Australia. As I waited for my visa, packing for my new home and life, some friends and family expressed doubts but I had no qualms. I longed to join my beloved husband.
But now, looking around the sparsely, furnished home, I burst into tears.
I heard a knock and quickly wiped my red eyes. A grey-haired woman leaning on her walker smiled at me.
“Don’t worry. I’d feel like crying, too,” she said, looking past me. “Jason asked me if he should buy furniture before you arrived or wait and let you choose. I thought you’d like to pick your own pieces. If his taste is anything like my Jim’s…” She shook her head and rolled her eyes.
I realised this was Stella who Jason often talked about. A kind neighbour who loved cooking and frequently brought him delicious treats. I led her inside and she handed me a pretty cake tin.
“What are they?” I asked, peering inside.
“Lamingtons,” said Stella. “An Australian favourite. Jason loves them. I wasn’t sure what you’d like.”
The chocolate covered cakes sprinkled with coconut looked delicious. I reached out and gave her a hug, spilling a few more tears onto her shoulder.
“I’m across the road anytime you need me,” she said when I’d finally recovered.
As Stella wheeled her walker out the door, we heard loud laughter in the tall gum trees beyond the row of houses.
“A kookaburra,” said Stella. “He’s welcoming you to your new Australian home.”
The laugh was infectious and I found myself laughing as I watched her cross the road.
I’d already made a friend and life in my new home would be fine.