“Are you sure about this? This seems a bit…sketchy.”
“What exactly is so sketchy about it?”
“You’re putting up a flier and inviting strangers into our apartment.”
I hold up a finger. “Nuh uh. You don’t get to have a say in this. You’re the one leaving me. This is my apartment now.”
Delia, my best friend and soon-to-be former roommate, sighs in defeat and crosses her arms over her chest. “Fine. You’re right. I just think it’s a little…I don’t even know. Makes me worried you’re going to get some creeper trying to move in with you.”
“I promise to vet each one before I make a decision. Sound good?”
She nods. “I’ll take what I can get with you.”
I adjust the laptop on my knees and lean back into the couch, my gaze planted firmly on the blinking cursor on the near blank screen. All I have so far is “ROOMMATE WANTED”. I’m going to need more than that.
“I still cannot believe you’re ditching me to move in with your stupid boyfriend,” I tell Delia.
“And goats. Don’t forget those sweet baby goats I bought her,” said stupid boyfriend pipes up from behind the stack of boxes he’s preparing to haul out of the apartment.
“Yeah, what he said.” There’s a smile covering her lips telling me if I wasn’t in the room right now, I doubt they’d be clothed.
These two lovebirds make me sick.
“Gross, stop smiling at him like that.”
He pops his head out, a shit-eating grin covering his face, green eyes lit with mischief. “Did she do that sexy thing where one side of her lips tilt up? God, I love that fucking smile. Talk about a boner-inducer.”
I throw a disgusted look his way. “Can we not discuss your dick right now, Zach? We’re trying to be sad.”
“I mean, I guess we don’t have to. It is a pretty spectacular subject though.”
Delia nods. “He isn’t wrong.”
Groaning, I toss myself back on the couch. “You two are terrible.”
“Are we really though, Zoe?”
“Can I kill him now?” I say to Delia.
“No,” Zach answers. “I—”
He throws a grin his girlfriend’s way, not buying the false reprimand from her either. “I’m going, I’m going.” Stacking two boxes on top of one another, he hustles his way from the room before I lob something heavy at his head.
“Are you sure you want to live with him already? You don’t think it’s too soon?”
She meets my questioning gaze with a serious, sure one of her own. “I’m ready.”
I know she is, and that’s what makes me so sad. We’ve been joined at the hip since freshman year. After sharing a dorm room for the last three years, we finally managed to score an apartment off campus last summer for our senior year and beyond. Our friendship, though it was already solid, has grown by leaps and bounds.
She’s my person, and I’m going to miss the hell out of her.
“Are you ready? For a new roomie, I mean. So soon? That’s a big leap and we both know you don’t need someone to help foot the bill for you. Your parents—bless them both—take care of damn near everything already.”
“I know, but I think I’m going to get lonely fast. We both know I’m the more social one out of the two of us.”
Delia nods. “True. But do you really want to post a flier? Why don’t you just, I don’t know, go out.”
I place a hand on my chest and gasp. “Do you mean I should, like, go out and meet someone the old-fashioned way?”
She cringes. “No. You’re right. People are gross. A flier works. But do not give your personal information! You don’t want any randbro to get hold of that.”
“Like the randbro who got hold of yours? What happened with him again?” I tap my chin, pretending to think.
Delia pushes my hand away. “Stop it. You know what happened.”
“Yes, you banged him. You banged the first random guy who got ahold of your digits. And now you’re moving in with him!”
She rolls her eyes just as Zach walks back in the apartment.
“I’ll have you know I had to suffer through three dates with this broad before she finally gave it up. Three. Dates. Do you how much she cost me in food alone?”
Before I can do it, Delia grabs the nearest pillow off the couch and chucks it Zach’s way. “Go away, you ass!”
He dodges the assault and laughs. “You know you love me, my little food whore.”
I watch as Delia’s eyes light up. The dopiest smile covering her lips. “I do.”
Part of me wants to pretend to puke over their display. But more so, I love the way they love each other.
Nothing was traditional about their courtship—having met via a wrong number—and I don’t think either of them would have it any other way. Somehow that wrong number turned into the purest, easiest love I have ever witnessed.
“Get a room,” I tease to break the sexual tension building between them.
Zach lifts a shoulder. “I guess we could take her room for a spin one last time.”
My mouth drops open and Delia throws her head back in laughter.
“You have no shame, Zach Hastings.”
He shrugs again, not the least bit bashful, before grabbing more boxes and leaving.
Delia tucks her feet under legs and looks my way. “I really will miss you, you know. I can’t believe we won’t be living together anymore.”
“I can’t believe you’re ditching me. I can’t believe Zach is kicking Robbie out.”
“Hey, he’s not kicking him out. Robbie left before Zach even asked me to move in.”
I barely manage to not roll my eyes. “Oh, puh-lease. Like those boys didn’t have it planned. Zach knew you’d say yes. Robbie knew you’d say yes. He bailed for you, Delia. Don’t play.”
“I know, but if I pretend he didn’t then I don’t feel as bad.”
I laugh at her honesty. “But he’s on to bigger and better things, so it’s all that matters.”
“You two still talking every day?”
When I first saw Robbie, Zach’s best friend and former roommate, during the Great Goat Heist last year, I was immediately attracted to him. I mean with muscles for days, tattoos, and a killer grin, who could really blame a girl?
But then I learned he’s a single father, and I don’t do kids. That was the water on my lust fire and I knew then we were destined to remain just friends. Which turns out was exactly what we both needed.
While Delia and Zach were off in Love Land, we grew close. Talked about anything and everything, including my recent mishaps in the dating world and him trying to win back the mother of his child. Now I can’t imagine ever being attracted to him. He’s my wingman, too much like a big brother to be anything else.
“Yep. He’s loving his new place, by the way. Said his ex is happy with him for getting out on his own. So really, don’t feel bad for him moving out. It’s working out for him.”
She nods. “Good. That’s good. I just wish I had gotten more time to get to know him. Because I’m certain he still thinks I’m halfway insane.”
“Only halfway? Are you use? I mean you did climb into his bedroom window last year in attempt to steal a baby goat.”
“But,” she begins to argue, “he’s also friends with Zach and he’s the looniest of us all.”
“Don’t worry ladies, you just sit there and cry and whatever else it is you’re doing. I’ll just handle all these heavy boxes myself.”
“We will!” Delia tells a passing Zach, his arms stacked full again. “Anyway, do you think you’ll want to get a new roommate soon?”
I ponder this a moment. Part of me wants to try having the apartment to myself, but I will get bored and lonely. I’ll succumb to bothering Delia in a heartbeat. I don’t want to be that desperate friend who needs reassurance when the other one gets a boyfriend.
No. I need a new roomie to keep me sane. Entertained.
“Probably,” I tell her.
She claps her hands together. “Okay, then let’s get to work. I’m going to help make you this flier before I leave.”
“Leave?” I balk. “I thought you weren’t going until tomorrow? Tonight was supposed to be our last pizza party and sleepover before you ditch me for the pretty boy.”
“Chill.” She holds her hand out. “We’re still having the slumber party. But I want to get started on this now. We want to make sure it’s perfectly Zoe.”
“What does that mean exactly?”
“You know,” she says flippantly.
I cross my arms over my chest, smirking at her. “No, Delia, I don’t. Tell me exactly who Zoe is.”
“A little edgy. A little sarcastic. Crass. Adorable.” She winks at me and I laugh. “I don’t know. You’re…you. Whoever your new roomie is better like making breakfast to DMX and not be alarmed when you hole up in your room for days on end because you’re in the middle of a project.”
“Do you think we really need to include all that?”
She shrugs. “Probably not. It does make you sound a bit crazy.”
“I feel like I need to make a list. Let me grab my notebook.”
I push myself off the couch and make my way down the hall to my bedroom, pausing in front of Delia’s near-empty bedroom. There are only six boxes and her bed left. Other than that, it’s empty.
There’s a twinge in my heart and I can feel the tears beginning to form. I try to quickly blink them away. I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry, dammit!
“She’s going to miss you, you know.”
I jump at the sudden sound and turn to glare at the intruder. “You’re a damn ninja, Zach.”
He grins. “Sorry.” Clearly, he’s not. “I just wanted you to know that though. I feel like I should apologize or feel bad about stealing her away, but I can’t.”
I pat his shoulder. “And you shouldn’t. You two are great together. You deserve this happiness. I’m just annoyed you’re stealing my woman. You scooped right in and BAM! Now she’s leaving me.”
“She’ll still come around. I’ll make sure of it.”
“You make it sound like you’re going to have to pry her from your side. I don’t think you’re that great, Zach.”
One brow shoots up. “Oh, I beg to differ.”
I laugh and push past him. “I’m glad to see your ego is still intact,” I say over my shoulder before turning into my bedroom.
“Hey, I’m just stating the obvious.”
I shake my head and grab my worn notebook off my bed before heading back to the living room. I take this thing with me everywhere and it’s evident in the way the cover is beginning to fall off the spiral. Maybe it’s time I replace it.
I’m a strange breed of people when it comes to notebooks. I use every square inch on a page. Doodles, notes, lists, random reading assignments, it all goes in my book.
“Your boyfriend is so arrogant,” I tell Delia, resuming my spot next to her and flipping open my notebook and trying to find a blank space to write.
“Isn’t he though? It’s kind of exhausting at times.”
“Okay, a lot. He wears me out. But I totally love it.” She sighs again, all wistful-like. “Anyway, let’s order that pizza now. I’m starving.”
“Is Zach staying for dinner?”
“Oh hell no. I’m not sharing with him. He may call me a food whore all the time but he’s just as bad. He’ll scarf the whole thing down before I even get a slice in.”
“What a pig.”
“I heard that!” Zach says as he makes his way back into the apartment. “I have about two more trips to make and then I’ll be out of your hair, ladies. You two can order pizza and gossip and naked pillow fight. You know, whatever it is girls do.”
I glance to Delia. “He still thinks we naked pillow fight?”
“He won’t let it go. He’s going to be so disappointed that the only thing we plan to do is scrub this makeup off, ditch the bras, and put some yoga pants on.”
“He says you had him at no bras.” Zach waggles his brows up and down.
Delia throws another pillow at him and he laughs, taking off to finish up.
He makes three more trips, gives his girl a kiss goodbye, and leaves us to commemorate our last night as roommates.
“Pizza is ordered,” I say as Delia trudges back into the living room, her blanket and pillow in hand.
“Fort?” she suggests.
“Like you even had to ask.”
We get to work on building a small fort between the couch, coffee table, tv stand, and borrowed stools from the bar in the kitchen.
Once we have everything set up, we snuggle down into our blankets and pull up Parenthood, the show we’ve been binge-watching for weeks now. I’m sad because we still have an entire season to go and she’s moving out.
“I still can’t believe you’re leaving this brand new couch behind for me.”
“That was all on Zach. He’s the one who insisted on buying it when Marshmallow chewed one of the cushions, not me. I told him we could just flip it around and not be bothered by it. I have no problems parting with it. Besides, it’s not like we’ll need it. He does have a fully furnished home, ya know.”
She isn’t wrong there, and it was his goat that chewed up my couch.
“Yeah, yeah. I know. You’re moving on with a rich boy who has his shit together.”
“He isn’t a rich boy,” she defends. I pin her with a stare. “Okay, he has money, but he isn’t a rich boy. That sounds so…dickish.”
“Fair enough. Zach isn’t a rich boy. He’s just…well kept.”
Delia snorts out a laugh. “We’ll go with that. Pull your laptop over here. Let’s get started on that flier.” I push my laptop her way. She props it up on her knees, cracking her knuckles and hovering her fingers over the keyboard. “Now, what’s the first thing you’re looking for in your new roomie?”
“Hmm… Long brown hair. Snarky. Preferably named Delia.”
“Such a drama bomb. What are you really looking for?”
“I want someone who’s going to clean up after themselves. Someone who isn’t into parties but is okay with overnight guests…if you catch my drift.”
“Obviously. Ladies only?”
“Nah. Chicks or dicks welcome.”
Delia chuckles. “That is so going on the flier.” She opens a blank document and begins typing. “Wait. Why aren’t we going digital about this? Put it up on Craigslist or something? You’ll reach more potential roomies that way.”
I shake my head. “Nah. There’s something more personal about a flier. Gives it that human touch.”
“What? You don’t think it’ll be effective?”
“I just find it hard to believe people pay that much attention to bulletin boards anymore.”
“Just trust me on this. I’ll find someone, and it’ll be just the right someone. Now, let’s start with this…”
Chicks or dicks welcome!
Looking for a new roomie? I have a place for you then! Like your music loud? I own headphones. Enjoy having late-night guests over? Again, headphones. 😉 Want someone to help pay the bills? Do the dishes? Take out the trash? You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours (metaphorically, of course). Check us out, getting along already.
Must be able to pay first and last month’s rent up front.
Must be okay with Breakfast & Beats.
No trying to sleep with me.
One bedroom. Two bathrooms.
$350/month plus electricity.
If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Dick pics sent directly to my grandmother. Don’t do that shit to her.