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In the kitchen, Angie was making toast, scrolling Instagram and WhatsApping Jordi when she got an email notification. She didn’t initially recognise the sender, but then twigged what it was and immediately navigated to read it.
‘Oh . . . mygod . . .’ she breathed. ‘Oh . . . MYGOD!’
Instantly, she was torn between telling Jordi or telling Bette. Bette was nearer.
‘Mom?’ she rushed to the study. Bette looked up from what she was writing. ‘Mom! Guess what? Guess what I just got an email from?’
‘I have no idea,’ Bette said, taking her glasses off.
‘You know the STEM camp in Boulder in July?’
‘Well, I got in! I got in!’ Angie scream-whispered, her face a portrait of pure joy, ‘I am going to fffff… freaking Colorado!’ She burst out laughing and ran to hug Bette, who laughed too and squeezed her close.
‘Congratulations, baby,’ Bette said.
‘I can’t believe it!’
‘You deserve it, honey.’ Bette held her daughter’s face gently and stroked her cheeks. ‘Well done!’
‘I’m sooooo excited!’ She became suddenly very serious. ‘I have to tell Jordi.’
‘And Mama T,’ Bette added.
Angie started to navigate stuff on her phone as she sat on the edge of Bette’s desk, so Bette discreetly pulled a file across to cover up the note she’d been writing. It was soothing to watch Angie, anyway, burbling away about astronomy, much happier and excited after the upset of the day before.
Tina was viewing the first house, occasionally mulling what she would put in her text to Angie, when her daughter stole a march on her. GOT INTO BOUDLER!!!!!! [plus a string of emojis]. Then a second text: *BOULDER. Tina read these standing beside a very nice lap pool, under a beautiful pergola wrapped in what she was pretty sure was plastic honeysuckle.
The realtor stopped mid-spiel to let Tina type a response.
‘I’m sorry,’ she said, beaming at him. ‘Our daughter just got in to a particular summer school.’
‘Thank you. She’s very excited about it.’
‘A kid who’s excited about extra school. You don’t find those every day.’
‘It’s like a two-week immersion in astronomy. That’s her thing.’
‘Astronomy,’ the guy murmured, squinting up into the sun. ‘Wow. I’d love my kid to be into something like that. I bet her dad’s proud of her, right?’