“I can’t believe it’s here!” Mattie jumped up and down on the spot, clapping her hands.
“You’re just like Acacia,” Hunter said with a laugh, talking about his girlfriend’s daughter. “Anyone would think you were five, not twenty-five.”
Mattie punched his arm. “Just because you’ve never been excited about anything in your life,” she teased.
Finally, the truck pulled into the driveway, everything Mattie had imagined and more.
“Come on, come see!” She pulled on her mother’s arm, racing down to greet Jarrah with a hug.
“I guess you want to see inside first,” Jarrah said.
“Of course,” said Mattie’s mum, and Jarrah laughed, handing over the keys.
Inside was perfect. Two and a half metres wide by seven metres long, the door opened up to a living space, comprised of bench seating around the back corner, butting up against the bench space that made up the kitchen. The splashback for the kitchen bench was one long mirror, giving the illusion of extra space. On the wall opposite was floor to ceiling shelving, and beyond another door.
“There’s storage here.” Mattie pulled open cupboards that were virtually invisible above and behind the bench seating. “This is my wardrobe, and then space here for linen and towels, and whatever else I need to store. And there’s a table here.” She pulled at a ring on the wall lowering a table with just enough space for four people to
sit around, and then folded it back up again so they could all move through the kitchen to the door at the back, which opened into the bathroom, complete with composting toilet, full-sized shower, and small vanity. There was even enough space for a washing machine.
“And it’s got solar power, too.” Mattie spread out her arms, a huge grin across her face. “And a small tank. It collects rainwater from the roof. And gas hot water. There’s everything you could possibly need.”
Her mother frowned. “Where do you sleep?”
“Oh!” Mattie pushed past her family, back to the bench seating. She pressed a button on the wall and before their eyes, a queen-sized bed lowered itself from the ceiling, so the bench’s backrest became the bed’s headboard.
“Now I’ve seen everything.” Her father shook his head in disbelief.
“And you’re going to live in this? Permanently?” Mother was still frowning, and Mattie gave her a hug.
“It’s got just as much space as the bedsit I had in Perth,” she said with a laugh. “I’ll be fine. Plus, when I get to Tas I’ll build a deck around it, so that will give me some extra space. And I’ll be surrounded by 250 acres of rainforest. I didn’t have anything like that in Perth.”
They piled out of the house to a waiting Jarrah.
“What do you think? Is it all right? Is it everything you wanted?”
Mattie’s commission was Jarrah’s first job, and she could hear the nerves in her friend’s tone.
Mattie gave her a hug. “It’s everything I wanted and more! Amazing. Thank you so much!”
A grin broke out over Jarrah’s face. “I’m so glad. I wanted to make it the best I could for you.”
Hunter walked around the truck and stopped in front of it.
“There is just one thing,” he said.
Mattie rolled her eyes. “What would that be?”
“It’s on a truck.”
“And how else will I drive it to Tasmania?”
“So, you’ll have a truck permanently parked on your property?”
“No.” Mattie shook her head. “Once I’m there I’ll transfer it to proper foundations, and then I can sell the truck, and get some of my money back.”
“Right.” Hunter nodded, but there was still that knowing tone to his voice.
“What is it, Hunter?” Mattie hated when her brother got like this, all know-it-all.
He looked at her. “You don’t have a truck license. How are you going to drive it to Tasmania?”
“I—what?” Mattie blinked, Hunter’s words taking a moment to sink in.
Jarrah’s eyes widened as she turned to Mattie. “You don’t have a truck license?”
Mattie frowned. “No.”
Jarrah shook her head. “I should’ve asked. I’m so sorry. I just assumed.” Her face went bright red. “You always talked about driving your dad’s truck around the farm when you were growing up. I thought you must’ve had a license.”
Hunter took a step back to indicate the rusty old ute behind him. “That’s what we always called Dad’s truck,” he said. “Not an actual truck.”
A pained expression crossed Jarrah’s face. “I can take it back. I’ll sell it to someone else. I’ll give you your money back. It’s my fault, I should’ve checked. I’m so sorry.”
Hunter paused for a moment, watching his sister. “Well, I guess that dream’s gone then.”
“No.” Mattie shook her head. “No.” She looked at Jarrah. “I don’t want you to take it back. It’s everything I wanted, and everything I asked for, and I’m keeping it.” She barely registered the relief on Jarrah’s face before she turned to her smirking brother. “And the dream is not gone. I don’t need a truck license to live in it, just to drive it. Just to get it to Tasmania. People travel to Tasmania from here all the time. Surely one of them has a truck license? I’ll just offer them a free trip.”