I’d moved to England three years earlier, living in a small town in the country. It was pretty, but also pretty lonely. Facebook was my closest friend.
And it was on Facebook that I first met her. We were both American expats, she was living in London. We each used Facebook to share our creative work, and I quickly became a fan of her poetic posts.
We also shared a mutual friend; the boy who grew up across the street from me in Arizona had met her when he went off to art college in Maine to become a painter. The art world, I find, is a small world.
She and I admired one another’s work and then, on a whim, decided to meet in person.
It was like I’d known her for years, her grace and calm beauty matched her lovely poems and we giggled at all the same things. A friendship was born.
It was when she invited me to her London flat that my admiration was cemented, I drank in every detail. I’d never fallen in love with a flat before. Could she be any more cool?
Yes, Companion and I had flirted with the idea of moving to London ourselves, but the city was suffering an epic housing crisis. There was just no way.
Until I received a message from my Facebook friend. She wrote, “My job is taking us to New York for three years, maybe more. We love our home and want someone to look after it, someone who loves it too. We’ll give you a great deal. Will you come to London?”
It was shortly after moving into The Most Beautiful Flat in the World, that I went home to Arizona for a visit. I was talking to our mutual friend, the boy who grew up across the street from me, and I told him that I’d moved into her flat. Her, the girl he’d known at that Maine art college all those years ago. He laughed.
“Do you remember the painting I gave you,” he said, “when I came home from college?” Yes! of course! I know the one, the painting with the beautiful angel. I’ve proudly hung it in every house I’ve ever had. I love that painting.
“That’s her,” he said. “She was my model when I painted it.”
It seems she’s been my angel all along.
We’ve lived in this flat for three years now and not a morning goes by that I don’t say “Thank you” the moment my eyes open. It’s magical.
But I guess that’s what happens when your landlady is an angel.