Friday Fast Fiction: The Apartment


apartment

            Brad stood by the window that looked down 20 floors to a nearly empty street.A taxi pulled in front of the restaurant he’d been meaning to try. The dining experience will have to wait, thought Brad, as he gripped a stack of unopened envelopes.

            “My holiday excesses,” he announced to no one but himself.

            He walked over to a small desk in the corner of the room and carefully laid out the four envelopes.

            “Better open each one standing up. “

            “$2,127.32.”

            “$876.23.”

            “$2,976.21.”

            “$1,001.10”

            “Okay, the bottom line: I will need a second job, or a roommate to share the rent.”

            The next morning he decided finding a roommate would be the least burdensome route. That afternoon he posted a note on the company bulletin board: “Brad in accounting seeks roommate to share studio near Central Park.” By close of business he had three takers he only recognized by sight, not name. He chose to interview the only female who had responded. They met at the Starbucks in the building lobby.

            “The share of rent would be $1,500 and half the electrical. I’ll cover the cable TV.”

            “How many bedrooms?” Brad watched her lips move—they were full and soft, the sexiest lips he’d ever seen next to Scarlett Johansson’s.

            “Two, of course. Would you like to see it.”

            Sherry nodded.

            Thirty minutes later they were in Brad’s 650 square-foot apartment.

            “Where’s the second bedroom?” asked Sherry.

            “Follow me.”

            Sherry looked surprised. “Where?” she asked with a giggle. “To the roof?”

            Brad opened the walk-in closet door—he had converted 24-square-feet into a sleeping area.

            “My room—very private,” he said. “Not much smaller than the bedroom you’d have.” His heart beat fast—if he was going to have to share his space, it had to be with a beautiful woman like Sherry. He hadn’t had a girlfriend in two years. He was convinced she’d like him once they got to know each other.

            Sherry moved in a week later. Brad had a new spring to his step, anticipating their first kiss. The fantasy was dashed when Sherry slept in the apartment. She snored loudly and unevenly throughout the night. Even with the closet door nearly closed, he couldn’t get away from what sounded like a subway in slow transit.

            One evening he confronted her in the middle of the apartment. “You snore loudly,” he said.

            “I know. Sorry.”

            A week later she offered him $4,000 to leave. He decided it would be easier to move further from the park to a smaller unit than to live with her snoring, besides, his debt would be erased.

            A few months after Brad vacated his apartment, he found out through the grapevine at work that Sherry had told friends she’d do anything to get an apartment near the park, even snore herself to death.

           

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