The entirety of her possessions consisted of small closet full of clothes, some toiletries, a CD/radio, and a used mattress she had acquired from a church’s storage shed. She inserted her favorite CD, poured herself two fingers of cheap whiskey, and looked around satisfactorily at her freshly painted apartment. She was alone for the first time in her young life.
“It’s perfect!” She wrote to her husband. “$385.00 a month–and that includes utilities! It’s within walking distance to school, and so romantic. Old houses are romantic, anyway. This one was built in 1909 and we’ve got the apartment on the second floor overlooking the porch. One bedroom, a living room/ kitchen combo, and a bathroom. The bathroom is the best part. We have the original clawfoot tub! It’s huge! I can’t wait until you see it when you get back.”
She felt a small pang of guilt for moving the two of them out of her parents’ house while he was away at boot camp, but knew that without this cattle-prodding, he’d happily stay with her family for good. He had never grown up in a happy home where the parents were still together and everyone got along. She, however, was more than ready to flee the nest and begin her own adventures.
She had to borrow money from her dad for the deposit and first month’s rent, but within 24 hours after seeing the place, she was happily moved in. Her new girlfriends from the university helped her tote the boxes of clothes, CD’s, hair products, and the flowered mattress up the 100 year old staircase.
It didn’t take them long to put everything in its new place. The mattress was just flopped onto the bedroom floor under two big windows. The girls flopped the same way on top of it. The evening previous to this one had been spent at a local bar’s open mic night. They had all sang to a rousing group of toasty folks. It was a grand time, but they were feeling the lack of sleep and still had homework to do for music theory.
“We need some coffee.” the blonde suggested.
“Oh my God! I don’t have a coffee pot!”
After a quick trip to the local Walmart, the ladies enjoyed their coffees out of brand new coffee mugs.
“I bet we can climb onto that roof and sit.” One friend said with raised eyebrows.
“I dunno.” She wavered and took a swig of coffee. “It’s really old.”
“Naw! It’s fine!” Said her high-spirited friend. “C’mon!”
Before she knew it, all three of her friends had shimmied through the open window and into the autumn dusk.
“Grab the guitar!” said a disembodied voice through the open pane.
She sat her coffee cup down, took hold of the Gibson, and climbed awkwardly out of the large-framed window onto the shingles of the porch roof.
“This is awesome!”
“Yeah, this is so cool. I’m really jealous of you. Living in the dorms suck.”
“You sure this’ll hold us up?”
“Sure it will!” Her friend said as she strummed a G chord in a 6/8, swinging time. “Let’s sing.”
And so they sang on top of the porch roof. Sipping coffee and singing made-up-lyrics that made them laugh as the languid, velvet dusk turned to a crystal evening around them.