======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Eric scrolled through Zillow absentmindedly as he admired apartments way outside of his price range. His lease didn’t end for another three months, but already his roommate was asking if they were planning on re-signing for another year. To be honest, Eric wasn’t sure.
“I mean, Jason is a solid roommate,” Eric thought as he clicked through pictures of a $3300/month one-bedroom in the city that he would never even be allowed to set foot in. “He does his dishes, he opens the windows when he hits the bong, and we’re both fine with deep-cleaning the place once a month. Sure, his girlfriend stays over half the week, but she’s chill enough and occasionally brings beer over, so that’s probably as good as it gets.”
Still, although he had no qualms about his living situation, Eric could feel that he wasn’t completely fulfilled. He yearned for change. For a place with a view, not a back porch that overlooked an alley. A place with carpeting, not old, stained hardwood.
“Should I ask Jason if he wants to look at upgrading?” He thought, his Zillow search momentarily halted as his imagination filled with gleaming apartments on its own. Even as he asked himself the question, he realized he didn’t want to talk to his roommate about upgrading. He wanted something more. Not just a new living space. A new living situation. Could it be? Did he want…to live alone?
He ran his fingers through his hair and exhaled slowly as he mulled the idea over. He had never lived alone. Whether it was his parents, his college friends, or his post-grad roommates, he had always shared his living quarters with others, and frankly, he was unsure about how he felt about changing that. He liked the idea of living alone, but would the execution match up with his imagination?
Sure, there would be no one else to make a mess or clutter up the place, but there would also be no one else to clean it. When he comes home exhausted and wanted to do nothing but take his pants off and lie on the couch, he’d be able to, but when he came home from a work happy hour and wanted someone to kick it with, he’d be all alone. Unsure, Eric consulted the best and worst tool he had at his disposal – the group chat.
Eric [2:55pm]: So I’m thinking about what to do when my lease is up in a few months. Kyle, Andrew, I know y’all live alone. Is it better than having a roommate or what?
Jack [2:56pm]: Let’s be honest u and Rachel are gon move in together be married by like a year so why even wait?
Eric [2:58pm]: Jack are you drunk? Not your best work, buddy.
Kyle [3:03pm]: Living at home is ok. I probably would have been down to live with roommates for another year, but I didn’t feel like going through the hassle of finding a Craigslist one that may or may not be a serial killer.
Andrew [3:07pm]: Idk, I love having my own place. My last roommate was a fucking nightmare, remember? Not coming home to random Tuesday night ragers and random people passed out on the couches is totally worth the extra money I’m spending on it. Plus I feel like girls kind of expect it nowadays, which is bullshit because they all still have roommates, but that’s the game.
Jack [3:11pm]: Man fuck what girls want just always stay when they’re places.
Eric [3:12pm]: Hahaha you drunk fuck go take a nap. Thanks to everyone who isn’t named Jack.
With a chuckle, Eric put his phone back in his pocket and resumed his search for his dream apartment. The points his friends had made were good, but he still wasn’t convinced. The truth was, he enjoyed his current living situation. The apartment was affordable and his roommate was great. And yet, he wanted something more. Something he couldn’t put a finger on.
The idea of his own place excited him until he thought about life after the first month. He would still be doing the same things he did now, just in a new place. He’d have the same friends over for pregames. He’d go to the same bars. He’d try to meet new girls with the same old lines. It wasn’t that he didn’t like his life. In fact, he loved it. His friends were great, and he enjoyed every time they went out. But lately, he had just felt in a rut. The thing that had excited him the most about living alone wasn’t any of the positives, but just the fact that it would be something new, a step in a new direction.
Maybe that’s what he really needed. Not a small change, but a big one. One that would excite him and scare him at the same time. One that could fail miserably, or succeed beyond his wildest hopes.
Hands shaking slightly with nerves, he gently positioned his clicker over Zillow’s “location” search bar. He paused, his hands over his keyboard, and thought hard.
“Where would I want to live?” .