“This is a great building,” Nichole said as we walked over from the car.
“Thanks. I got lucky an apartment was open when I was looking.” I led the way into the building and held the door for her, then headed up the stairs. I’d been seeing Nichole for a few weeks now, and we were actually really hitting it off.
“It’s about time you finally have me over to your place, Josh. I was beginning to wonder if you lived with your parents or something,” Nichole laughed.
I laughed along with her and let us into my apartment. “I promise; nobody lives here but me.” The truth was, I was a lot more careful these days about who I brought back to my apartment. I’d let far too many one-night-stands in. I’d been very lucky that nobody had stolen anything…well, that one girl had stolen my underwear, but at least I hadn’t lost anything of value.
Who steals underwear? Really.
“This is nice,” the young woman said appreciatively. “Although a big guy like you – don’t you feel like you’re living in a sardine can?”
I snorted softly and took a seat on the couch. “No. I don’t really need a lot of space.”
She sat down next to me. “If you hadn’t proven it to me yourself, I’d wonder if you were really straight.”
I arched a brow at her. “What?”
She giggled and gestured to the apartment. “I’m just kidding. Straight guys places just usually aren’t so, well, nice. You must’ve hired a good decorator.”
The smile slipped off my face as I looked around. The pictures on the walls, the plants, the books I had never read – I hadn’t picked any of it out. The radio, the coffee pot, the weights strewn on the floor…those were the only things I could see that were really mine. Everything else… “Ah, well, actually, my ex decorated the place,” I admitted uncomfortably. Jesus, how had I never realized before that I was living in a place with Alison stamped on it?
“Your ex decorated? Like, the whole apartment?”
“Yeah. Somehow I just realized that.” I could what she was thinking all over her face. Rebound. Even though she wasn’t. But who wouldn’t think that? Hell, it was no wonder I was having trouble moving on from Alison. I was living in an apartment that I hadn’t just shared with her – she’d made it her own.
I cleared my throat. “Yeah, ah, Alison and I were together for several years. When I moved from my old place, I let her decorate. I hadn’t really thought about it in a long time.”
She still looked a little put off, but a small smile crossed her face. “Well, maybe if things work out with us, I can help you redo the place.”
Things didn’t and she didn’t. It wasn’t her fault, and I don’t think it was mine either. We got along alright, but I don’t think either of us felt that click with each other. Last week, we both decided it was time to call it over.
However, I had made one change that I thought was going to work out for me.
“Well, what do you think?” I asked.
Loralee and Nora stood in the middle of the empty room. “You bought a house,” Nora said incredulously. “Like, and actual house with rooms and a back yard and a pool.”
I snorted softly. “Yeah, I did.” I walked over to them and looked out of the window into the backyard. I could imagine my kids playing out there one day. “I decided it was time for a change, you know? I’m secure – hell, I’m past secure. It was time to invest in my future and shit.”
“Now he’s sounding like Josh,” Loralee said wryly.
I rolled my eyes at her. “Anyway, I don’t know anything about making a place look good. I was thinking maybe the two of you could help me fix this place up.” I’d been to Loralee’s place and knew she had good taste…though I’d maybe try to steer her towards the greens instead of the oranges and blues, and Nora would probably keep her from getting too girlish, since she knew what I liked. And I could be damn sure that these were two people I wouldn’t be cutting out of my life, so there wouldn’t be any awkward reminders of them to haunt me.
“So, what do you say?”
The two women smiled at me.
A/N: So, I am super sorry for the hiatus. I’ve been feeling so burnt out with this story. It’s not that I don’t love the characters – they’re my favorites out of any of my stories! But all my creative energies have been devoted to the Thoreau’s for almost a year now. My rotation story, the More the Wilder, and my ISBI, Crazy Town, really don’t require any creativity from me; I just observe and write things down in a funny way. I needed to spend some time focusing on fresh characters and a new plot – hence Taken by Storme, by new apocalypse challenge story. Now that I’ve had some space to write what I felt like writing, I feel like I’m in such a better place to tell this story. Before, I was itching to get to generation three (still along way in the distance) because I wanted new characters to follow. I’ve given myself that with Storme (which also moves much more quickly, so it should, hopefully, continue to serve that same purpose). Thank you all so much for your patience. I am going to try to begin posting on an every-other-day schedule. I hope that this will leave me enough time to keep up with all of my stories.Thank you again, my wonderful readers; you guys are such a HUGE part of why I’m still writing.