Chapter 7: Cass' Flat
Cass let herself into her one bedroom flat. She was extremely lucky to have this place. Her parents had lent her the deposit, which was being paid back sporadically. Most of her friends’ parents had pissed away any hope of helping their ungrateful offspring on holiday homes and buy to lets.
Cass blushed at the remembrance of an embarrassing lunch with Jason’s parents. Biting her tongue as she was lectured on how difficult the 70’s were and that as a generation the youth was just selfish and spoilt. Cass pointed out that her parents bought their home for a maximum of £70,000.00 and now it is worth £700,000.00. Her father in law to be pointed out that the generation gap will sort itself out with the death of the older generation and the youth will inherit.
“I don’t think that there will be anything to inherit once the care costs for old people living longer are factored in and that there will be a massive supply on the market, a lot more than demand, because there are more of you, thereby devaluing property prices. In an ideal world the older generation would start downsizing now before it became a problem and not being so greedy in their expectation,” said Cass pragmatically.
A cloud drew over Jason’s mothers face. She barked, “You go to the cinema, buy CD’s and go to bars. We never did that in the 70’s, we never had enough money. Your generation needs to learn to save. You whine all the time.”
Cass was in drink and did not hold back,” Yeap that is true we all spend £5.00 here on there on a cinema ticket or a CD or a coffee and sandwich during the ultra long hours we work, in order just to scrap together a deposit, while paying another mortgage in rent every month. Remind me at 31, you had a three bedroom house and a car. And you were a housewife. I am a solicitor at 31 and barely managing to pay my mortgage on a one bedroom flat. And I am luck! God knows how the other poor bastards of my generation hope to progress on less pay, and the younger ones may as well give up.”
“Why can’t you accept things have changed?” his mother said in exasperation.
“The only people who need to adapt to change is your generation. We have already done it and living with its stark reality!”
Jason and Cass left soon afterwards. “God, I love you!” said Jason as they got into the car. The next time she saw his parents was at the funeral.
Throwing her things down on the sofa, she remembered how much it irritated her that Jason used to do that every time he came home. She stopped herself from crying. He loved her. She was lucky to have known and loved him. She could not mourn forever.
She touched the picture of Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita Moscow Map, Jason had bought her, just because he knew she loved the book. The picture of the snaggle toothed man with the smoking pistol seemed to wink at her knowingly.
Rifling through her bag she found her cigarettes opened her window and leant on her balcony. The freezing clamminess of the London winter did not seem to affect her.
The sky-scape always made her smile. She could see the massive steal and glass phallus of capitalism, the Gherkin, which she thought said it all for the architect’s ego. If she really strained, she could glimpse the sparkly tip of the eternal christmas tree of economic growth, the Shard, peeped up though the cats-cradle of cranes and girders.
Blowing smoke out into the icy moist air, Cass watched the blue ghosts of her exhale dissipate high above the canal. She smiled when she remembered Jason prating around one humid Summer night, firing a champagne cork off the balcony, “Watch out! I am aiming at a socialist!” he said
“You’re a dick,” Cass laughed drunkenly.
“Yeap! But I am your dick. Forever!” he leaned in and kissed her deeply.
The burning sensation on her fingers knocked her out of her reverie, causing her to drop the dirty dog end. Enviously, she watched it tumble into oblivion of the canal.
Cass shook herself out of it, “It is okay, you are okay”. She was going to have her own chemical oblivion tonight and she could not let Sam down. Sam worried about her too much. Cass wanted to prove, more to herself, that she was still fun.