The room was at the back, with a view out over a small garden.
“It gets the afternoon sun,” she said apologetically.
“That doesn’t matter,” he said, his eyes inspecting the space. A cupboard, a bed with a duvet, a chest of drawers, a rug. All very tasteful and surprisingly unfeminine.
“It was my son’s room,” she said, in a tone which forbade further questioning. He nodded.
“Fifty a week,” she replied. “I know it seems a lot, but that includes heating and water and electricity.” It wasn’t a lot.
“I’ll give you one week’s deposit and one week’s rent.” If he didn’t get a job within two weeks he would be in trouble. He’d worry about that when it happened. “Would you mind if I come in late? I’ll be very quiet.”
She looked troubled.
“It’s just that I might get a job as a barman. And bars finish late.”
“No, of course not. Well, that’s settled. Would you care for a cup of tea?”