I walk up four floors to my room. No longer. I breathe in the dust coming out of the AC unit at night. No longer. I share a bathroom with forty girls. No longer. My RA knocks on my door and makes me move my posters due to a fire hazard. No longer. I live in the dorms. No longer. The time has come to move out into a big girl apartment.
Only one issue…It’s the end of July and school starts in less than a month.
First things first. I’m going to live with…who? Easy. Let me call up some girls on my floor. I send out text messages eagerly. This soon fades as I read the responses.
“Sorry! I signed back in January.”
“I already have a place to live.”
“Living with my boyfriend this year.”
“You don’t have an apartment yet? It’s July!”
I did not have an answer to the last question. However, I finally find other procrastinators like myself to room with. Unlike myself, their reasons to not have a lease yet are better. My first roommate candidate was Kayla. She has just gotten her acceptance into nursing school last month; thus, she didn’t even know—if she got into this school or not. Second option: Emma from my hometown. She recently transferred—seems like a perfect combination. Step one complete.
Now tour time commences. After making dinner and saying nice things, I convinced my dad to drive Kayla and I around Gainesville for hours. Our goal was to find every college student’s dream: close to campus and cheap. Extremely limited options. Complex after complex said they had no units left. I wanted to give up. However, we trudged onwards until we ended up between two houses. Henceforth I refer to them as the Cat House and the Klepto House.
The Cat House filled itself with just as many cats inside as they did outside.
Enter Carla, the landlord. A cute, old grandma greets us so warmly that she surprisingly has no cookies to accompany her. Walking up the stairs we get greeted by two cats. I don’t mind some cute cats. No rats are always a good sign. Anyway, we enter to more cats. Other than the smell I like the cute space and the large kitchen. Carla assured us that everything gets painted and cleaned before moving in. Great, now onto the next prospective house.
Road signs. Road signs everywhere. From the living room to the bedrooms. I quickly clean my glasses to make sure I didn’t arrange a tour at a construction site. Richie, the Klepto House landlord, ignored their presence and instead tried to distract us by ranting about how efficient he made the windows. Walking through, I deftly dodged the chips on the ground in order to survey the apartment. The girls living here should steal a broom instead of street signs. However, the fact that this house is located across the street from campus puts it at a significant lead.
I could see myself living here.
I could see us all living here. Skipping across campus with our backpack straps flailing in the wind. Passing my friends waiting at the bus stop. We wouldn’t need a bus. We could walk. If I wanted to go somewhere far then I would walk down my stairs to my personal parking lot. Speaking of parking…how much would that cost?
Richie looks at us, his eyes gleaming with happiness and says, “Great news for you guys, I give a special parking discount to my tenants.”
“How much would that be?” I inquire.
“One hundred and eighty dollars!” Richie exclaims proudly.
“A year?” I ask further. I’m willing to scrounge up some money for the fantastic location Klepto House offers.
“No, a month.”
My jaw drops. One hundred and eighty dollars a month. For each vehicle. Does he really expect me to pay almost $200 for parking alone? After much discussion: Kayla, Emma and I made our decision.
I hope the cats are nice to us.