She sat on her laptop in Roast, the organic-only cafè situated just beneath her apartment. Scrolling through real estate websites and Craigslist, she was still struggling to commit to a new apartment with the uncertainty surrounding her funemployment. Todd had offered very little to no help up until this point due to things at work picking up at a rapid pace since his recent promotion.
“Another latte, miss?” the barista asked as he cleaned off the table next to her.
“I think I’m okay for right now,” she responded. “But one question – are your scones gluten-free?”
The barista looked puzzled before responding, “No, I don’t believe so,” and trailing off back to the register.
She looked at the clock in the upper corner of her computer screen and noticed it was only ten minutes until Todd’s lunch. He had a meeting that morning near her place, so they agreed the previous Sunday night to do lunch together afterward. A bell rang, seemingly the one hanging on the cafè’s door to signal a customer coming in. She turned her head and saw Todd enter through the door with his hood up to cover his hair from the rain. He unzipped his jacket and swept his hair back before noticing her sitting alone at a two-top with her laptop cord stretching across the aisle-way to the nearest outlet.
“Hey babe,” she remarked upon him sitting down. “How was your meeting?”
“Long,” he said sharply. “How’s the apartment hunting going?”
She paused and started welling up. Todd, not realizing it, was looking at the menu and asked, “Do you know if the chicken club wrap is any good here?” before looking up and seeing her red eyes. His mouth opened as to say “uh-oh” before he reached across the table and grabbed her hand.
“I… I don’t know if it’s any good here,” she muttered. “I don’t know what to do about my apartment.”
Todd sat without any words coming to mind. He wasn’t sure why she was so stressed out considering she still had a month before her lease was up, and she had already visited two bohemian-looking lofts, one mid-century modern one-bedroom, and a pair of two-bedroom apartments that were still within her budget.
“It’s just, like, none of these places are ‘me’ and I’m so jealous of Katie and Finn’s space and I just want a space of our own and I just don’t want move all of my shit into somewhere that I’m just going to move out of in a year and I don’t know.”
Shell-shocked, Todd insisted she slow down but his brain was hanging onto the phrase, “I just want a space of our own.” Caroline’s boyfriend, John, had mentioned the idea of them moving in together when they were out the Friday before, but Todd considered it to be a drunken idea and conversation that didn’t hold any weight. After all, it happened in the back of an Uber XL where the girls were sitting begging (read: screaming at) the driver to play something off of their Spotify while he and John sat in the way back trying to watch the end of a Western Conference NHL game on Todd’s phone.
Todd, still silent, didn’t know what to say besides, “Okay, what can I do?”
She wiped a tear off her cheek onto her lilac-colored Patagonia Snap-T Pullover.
“What if…” she began.
Todd hadn’t felt this type of silence since he was asked, “What are we?” almost a year ago. Without wanting to come to any conclusions, he waited for the words to come out despite knowing exactly what was coming.
“What if we moved in together?”
It was a question both of them had weighed but not taken seriously, a question both of them knew was looming but were both unsure about the timing of. Todd knew the practicality of it but wasn’t sure he wanted to move away from his life where he could sit on his couch in sweatpants eating takeout from the bar downstairs without conversing with anyone. Comparatively, she was weary of cleaning up after him on a consistent basis and was worried that her aesthetic wouldn’t match his — something that never even touched Todd’s radar.
Todd was mustering a response when he was interrupted — “Hey man, can I get you anything?” the barista asked out of nowhere.
“Uh,” he hesitated. “I’m good, man. Thanks.” He then looked back at her.
“Sorry, I know this is out of nowhere,” she assured him despite the fact that she had already discussed it at length with Caroline just a week before.
Todd sat still hoping she’d continue and further express her thoughts, but the silence in the cafè was clearly up to him to break.
“Yeah, let’s do it.” .
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