Sorry this is late, friends. Find part I here.
We drove back to Pete and Brenda's apartment, parked a good way away because parking spaces in that complex are few and far between, and lugged my stuff all the way to where they live. Opened the door straight in to the sitting room, and nearly tripped over the end of the guest-bed before Pete could get the light on.
I had anticipated being too tired to meet Brenda properly that night, thank God. Pete had asked if she could be asleep when we arrived. Brenda said "I can be in my room with the door shut," which is basically the same thing. What I hadn't anticipated, was a beautiful hand-made card with my name on propped up on my pillow. Pete commented that that had not been there when he'd left the house. Inside was a welcoming note filled with love. I was so touched, I might have cried.
Still wired from getting to see Pete, I think I needed a snuggle from him even more than the sleep I desperately craved, so that happened, and then I went to bed. Slept like a baby and sweltered under the thick fleecy blanket Brenda hadn't realised I wouldn't need, given that I was visiting a warmer climate.
The next morning, I was the first awake, which I was glad about. 8am with light streaming through the patio window next to me, and I was up! (I learned how to close the shades ready for the next night.)
I spent some time on the patio by myself that morning, in my pyjamas. Looking at the sky, that beautiful sky, praying and writing in my travel journal, and I think I really needed that to collect myself. I love that patio. I love that sky.
Not long after Pete was up and Brenda had heard us talking, she timidly came out of her room to make a cup of coffee and gave the most massive hug. She said "I'm so happy to meet you" and "I love you already", and we were friends for life.