Moving in with a chick

By Francisco Maciel

Move in day. The beginning of this wild, passionate, strange story. I have had roommates before, but this was different.

Before I begin let me tell you a bit about myself. An average self image: long black hair –usually in a so called man-bun, olive skin, dark eyes, and a constant questioning of reality. I study physics but have a deep love for the arts. In an inexplicable way the arts became my only path to sorrow, happiness, and peace.

Now on to her. Adventure in her spirit –moving to another country alone does that to people–, curly jet black hair, perpetually cold hands, sad eyes that light up when she smiled, and an elegance she maintained even in the morning just out of bed. I’ll never forget the way she walked. A walk with purpose, I always said. The click of her heels on hardwood was intoxicating. Her inability to hold a stare. She always seemed to be searching for something to look at. I didn’t know it then, but those two characteristics were the definition of the time I would spend with her.

She has always been in my life, her family is close to mine. Although the fact they’re in Venezuela and mine has lived here most of my life meant that I never really knew her. I’d see her every few years on vacations to Venezuela and I always had a curiosity about her but we never really talked. We never got to know each other. Her coming to Toronto meant that maybe that curiosity would be satisfied.

The way we became roommates was unexpected. We never planned on it. I needed to move out, and she needed an apartment because she had just moved to the city. It was more a cohabitation of necessity. The search for an apartment brought us together in a funny way. We went from being essentially strangers, to spending most of our days sending each other rental postings, checking each other’s schedule to book viewings, and seeing each other practically daily for the appointments. Every potential landlord we met immediately assumed we were dating or together.

Throughout the process she got upset with me once. We had gone to see an apartment, and she was truly tired of looking for the right one. This one was brand new, and clean! She loved it. Her latent germophobia was endearing. The apartment was a thimble. The kitchen was nice though, I’ll give her that. She was upset I didn’t want to move in with her there. I felt there’d be better and she didn’t agree. She got so caught up in the emotion of wanting a fully renovated apartment that she was blind to the rest of it. It was in that moment that I was sure I wanted to live with her. She was someone that expressed her emotions, that wouldn’t hide what she felt regardless of everything. I was nothing like that. I didn’t want to live with someone like me, I wanted someone that would challenge me.

We eventually found an apartment, a beautiful third floor place with a great landlord. He thinks we’re cousins –we had to start giving people an easy explanation for why we’re not a couple and we’re moving in together–. We knew it was home the second we walked in. The dark hardwood floor, the faux fireplace, the bright windows, and although it was old it was clean! Very clean.

That’s where we come to our first night in the apartment…

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