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Finally, after a bus ride and wandering in circles for several minutes, they found the apartment complex and were greeted by a slightly terrifying looking woman in a suit. “Oh, great, you’re here, we can start the tour!” She looked them up and down with an only slightly concealed disapproving look, then turned and walked towards the elevator. Angela glanced at Adri and tried to make a face that somehow said ‘Alright, time to act like adults, and pretend to know what we’re doing.” 

 

Adri totally missed the message, and in reply, made finger guns and winked. The real-estate agent looked even more disapproving and regretful of the fact that she was now stuck in an elevator with the two of them. As they exited the elevator, she cleared her throat and flipped over a page in the folder she held. “So, the first apartment is on the 4th floor, it’s around 900 a month, partially furnished.” She opened the door and beckoned them inside. 

 

Angela took one look at the apartment, and this time very clearly communicated to Adri, ‘NOPE, not this one.” Then to be courteous, she wandered around for a bit while Adri followed her around asking what was wrong with it, and insisting that the tile was quite nice, and there was also a couch that came with it, it was a good deal. When the agent finally excused herself to use the restroom, Angela finally turned to explain. “Did you not see the dead cockroach under the coffee table? And on the nightstand in the left bedroom? And also in the cabinets?” 

 

He looked around again and slowly nodded. “Okayy, yeah, now I see what you mean. Next apartment!” 

 

They were ushered through apartment after apartment, as the agent got increasingly more deadpan and increasingly less enthusiastic. “Okay, this is the last apartment you asked to see, and I’ve already shown you the few others in your price range.” She opened the door, and bright, glaring green assaulted their eyes. 

 

“So this is the one with the green walls,” Adri whispered to Angela, as they wandered through the apartment. 

 

“I mean, other than that, it’s actually pretty decent, I think I could overlook the green if the price is good.” She crouched and peered under the couch, checking for bugs. “And there’s also no bugs, or mice, or birds nests. How did that even get into that other apartment?” 

 

Adri chuckled. “I have no idea, and it’s probably best not to wonder. I think this one’s probably okay, and once I can get a better job, even if the rent is a bit steep, it should be fine.” 

 

Upon being informed that it was $800 a month, Angela forgot completely about acting cool and collected, and high-fived Adri. “Yes! When can we sign the contract? Also, what’s the policy on re-painting, could we maybe not get it neon green?” 

 

“You can sign tomorrow when the owner’s here. And no, you can’t repaint the walls. Anyway, if you don’t mind, I’m going to lock up, so if you could get out of the apartment that would be lovely.” She closed the door behind them, locked it, and briskly escorted them to the door. “I’ll email you the details of where and when you can meet the owner to sign. Goodbye!” 

 

And with that, she walked away, leaving the two of them standing shivering in the cold autumn air. 

 

“Well, that was interesting. So we’re like, officially renting that place tomorrow. That’s a scary level of responsibility.” He kicked at a stone they passed. 

 

Angela nodded. “Yep. I think I actually kinda like the green, considering that the rest of the apartment is amazing, that might be the only reason it’s so cheap. No-one else is willing to tolerate it, so the value went down, maybe? I don’t know much about that sort of stuff.” She switched the subject as they hopped on the bus. “Shall we celebrate finding a new place? I know a great cafe near the university, and I found five bucks outside the apartment building back there.” 

 

He grinned half-heartedly, trying to shake off the confusing worry that was suddenly pulling at his attention. “Yeah sure, sounds great! It’s so cold out, I could really go for a coffee.” 

 

Angela pulled off her jacket and swung it around his shoulders. “Here, if you’re cold, borrow my jacket, I’ll be fine.” 

 

All his protests went up against a brick wall, so he accepted the jacket, keeping a careful eye on Angela. For some reason, the person in the seat in front of them opened a window, and Angela soon started shivering and glaring intensely at the back of the person’s head. He put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. “Hey, I think you’re gonna melt a hole in that guy’s head, maybe stop glaring? Here, I’ll keep you warm.” He pulled off his scarf and wrapped it loosely around her. 

 

She shrugged and leaned against him. “Okay. Anyway, about the apartment. There are two rooms, but so far only the one bed. What sort of place do we get a bed from? What room do you want? If you don’t mind, I think that one to the left of the kitchen seemed pretty cool.” 

 

Despite the cold, and the uncomfortableness of the bus seat, he was starting to be a bit glad the apartment complex was such a far bus ride. “Well, uh, we could buy one used off the internet, but that comes with the risk of bed bugs and all sorts of other unpleasant stuff, but on the plus side it’s cheaper.” He closed his eyes and mentally ran through the apartment again. “Ooh, that’s the good room. Rock paper scissors for it?” 

 

She rolled her eyes. “You’re a dork. Okay sure. Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!” Upon seeing the results, she promptly slammed her fist onto his hand. “Rock beats scissors, I win!” She grinned and put her hands back in her pockets. “Dang, that dude in front of us, what is he thinking? It’s freaking cold, who opens a bus window in the cold?” 

 

Adri shrugged. “I have no idea. Here, take your jacket back, I’ll be fine, and you obviously are colder than I am or will be.” He took it off and handed it to her. “I’ll be fine.” 

 

She draped it over the two of them like a blanket. “Compromise, we both get the jacket.” She glanced at her watch. “Oh shoot, I’m gonna be late to dinner with my friend! What stop are we at?” 

 

“Uh, we’re like 4 stops from the university.”

“Oh, okay, great, well then, I’ve got to hop off, the restaurant is fairly close by. So sorry to drop the coffee celebration, how about a raincheck?” She stood up and squeezed past him, headed to the door. 

 

“Okay, see you tomorrow?” He was barely able to hear her affirmative reply before the bus doors closed. 

 

Chapter 8: Ooh, Tell Me More!

 

Angela skidded into the restaurant six minutes late. She slumped into the seat across from her friend and immediately frantically apologized for being late. “Sorry Ari, sorry, I just got back from looking at apartments with Adri, and the bus was kinda slow, and the agent hated our guts, but we found an apartment so that worked out. How are you?” 

 

Her friend stared at her for a moment. “Okay, okay, slow down. First,” she said, counting on her fingers, “It’s fine that you’re late, I just got here like a minute ago. Second, who’s Adri, and why are you moving in with him? And third, I’m fine, how are you?” 

 

Angela picked up a menu and stared at it for a minute, avoiding conversation for a moment while she tried to figure out how to explain Adri. “Okay, so Adri is my friend-now-boyfriend as of yesterday, he’s super nice, and we’re both moving into the same apartment because we’re both broke and rent’s cheaper when you’re not paying all of it.” 

Ari slammed down her menu. “As of yesterday? You’ve only been dating this guy for what, a day, and you’re moving in with him?!” 

Angela sighed. “I’ve known him for like 6 months now, he’s cool, I trust him, he’s great, we just only officially went on a date yesterday. We’ve hung out plenty of times before that. Also, I’m not moving in with him, it’s not like he already has an apartment, we’re just both getting an apartment together cause, y’know, we’re broke.” 

“Okay, well, tell me all the details. What’s he like? Is he nice? If he breaks your heart, I will break his skull, and the rest of his skeleton too, you make sure he knows that. What’d you want to order, dinner’s on me to celebrate apartments and responsibility. Also to celebrate the fact that you’ve got a boyfriend, whoo!” She tapped Angela’s menu. “I highly recommend the breakfast platter, it’s all day and there is no bad time for breakfast food. Let’s order, and then you can tell me all about this lucky guy! Waiter?” 

 

Angela nodded slowly, trying to make sense of the rapid-fire series of questions. “Sure, breakfast platter sounds good. What do you even want to know about Adri?” 

 

Ari gave her an annoyed look. “Uh, everything! My best friend has a boyfriend, I wanna know allll the details. What’ve y’all done so far?” She wiggled her eyebrows and grinned.

Angela blushed. “Nothing like THAT, geez, we’ve only been officially dating for a day, get your mind out of that gutter it’s sitting in!” 

She shrugged. “Okay, well then what did you do? Let’s start simple. Where’d you guys go for your first date?” 

Angela took a sip of water and settled into her chair. “We went to a buffet down the road from the university. Was kind of last minute, so didn’t really have a super planned out date.” She laughed. “The food was amazing, but Adri didn’t seem to think so.” She imitated his voice playfully. “Oh my gosh, banana rhubarb pie is an abomination!”

Ari looked at her in confusion. “Uh, it sounds like an abomination to me, this guy’s got some sense. What’s he look like, you have a picture? If you’ve known him for 6 months, you should.” 

She pulled out her phone, pulled up a picture of the two of them, and passed the phone over to Ari. “There ya go, that’s Adri.” 

She nodded approvingly. “You go girl, you caught a good one! He’s cute. So anyways, how’d you two lovebirds meet?”