The mattress was not my mattress. The bed was not my bed. It was too low to the ground, and too hard. The wood was light, not dark. And it was too narrow. I lay there staring upwards. The ceiling was not my ceiling. The room was bare except for my suitcase and this bed. Dad said at some point my stuff would get there. When it got through customs. I had to be patient. He really used the word "patient" a lot.
At least there were pancakes. I could smell them frying downstairs. I sat up and swung my legs over the side of the bed. My feet hit the floor hard. Ow. I had to remember that this was not my bed that I practically had to run and jump up on to get into. Well now that I was eleven I didn't really have to do that. But definitely a couple years ago I did.
Downstairs Dad was in his lunghi with a frying pan.
"Where did that pan come from?" I asked.
"Oh, it's a loaner," he said, "until our shipment comes."
"When's that going to happen?" I asked.
"Just be patient," he replied.
There was that word again, patient. Patience was overrated in my opinion.
I looked around the room. The kitchen was a U shape with an island in the middle. That's where the stove was. A window above the sink in the middle of the U looked out onto a sparse garden. Next to the kitchen was a big room with a couch and some chairs. There was a sliding door out into the backyard.
"Where did this furniture come from?" I asked.
"There's a warehouse that they pull from until we get our own," Dad said. "We can go see it later if you want. I was thinking we might want different chairs."
"No thanks, that's ok," I said.
I opened the sliding door and looked out onto the cover patio and the dirt beyond it.
"Why isn't there any grass?"
"Technically we're in a swamp that's been filled in. The dirt is actually manure and sand."
"They'll plant grass will come soon. This compound is brand new. This isn't even the house we're eventually going to live in."
"No, this was just one of the ones that was finished first."
"Pancakes are ready, sit and eat."
I pulled one of the bar stools up to the counter. Dad put the plate of pancakes in front of me with the sugar syrup flavored with maple.
"Tastes like home," I said.
"This is home now," Dad replied.