The second part of my tell-all is really just the beginning. Here, you meet some of the characters in my all but real story. I hope you have stuck with me this far:
I can remember the day perfectly, waking up on the floor on my mattress next to Cameron, my old high school best friend. Cameron, or Cam as I called him, was always someone you could strike up a conversation with, a good mannered guy, but had a real different sense of humor. We had fallen into a sort of routine over the past week since I basically ran from home.
Cam would begrudgingly roll out of bed next to me after cracking some wise joke about me finding work or moving out. I always had something snappy to say back about him being colorblind and not understanding that grass isn't brown and trees are actually nice to look at in their natural state of green. That day happened to be different, however; after our normal banter, Cam left for work in a town roughly 20 minutes away to do road construction.
As always, I was left to my own devices, but that day happened to be the day to visit the house across the street. After some short text messages with Rob, I headed out into the rain on to the quiet college street and up the winding sidewalk through the large evergreen door.
The house happened to look different in the sunlight. Rob was there in the foyer, next to a large glass trophy case built into the wall. He was just as hawk-eyed and offsetting, but in a way seemed just as nervous as I was to be there. He lead me through a stained wood door and down the dim hallway. The entire house had a smell like an attic—in other words, old and dingy.
The doors down the hallway all looked the same, but had different letters of the alphabet on wooden plates screwed into the wall next to each one to help you navigate which room was what. My future room happened to be on the left side with the wooden plate titled with an "F." The door was wide open, with the light from outdoors shining into the dim hallway.
Rob and I walk into my room, but to much of my dismay it was small. The room had an old radiator in the center underneath the window, with two closets with dressers embedded into the wall on either side next to the door. The floor, on the other hand, had the type of carpet that resembles fabric, which seemed to just be kept there to separate your feet from the concrete underneath.
The window looked out into the gravel parking lot, into the stormy day. I decided to be kind and not display the horror I felt at the idea of living on a mattress in a box. Rob said I would get a small twin mattress from upstairs and an air conditioner installed in the window.
Eventually after talking for a few seconds longer, he lead me out into the hallway and back to the foyer around to a set of stairs into the basement. Rob continues his whole talk as if it was scripted, explaining that the even more dark and dingy basement was getting redone for the summer. The basement also happened to contain the kitchen, which held two doors—one going inward and one outward.
The basement sported chipped checkered tiles and a fireplace; the walls were white, but the underneath of the basement windows had bright blue barn squares displayed. The space was filled with long, beaten-up and ornately designed tables, with just as intricately designed chairs in place.
Rob continued his speech, explaining that laundry was in the boiler room, the TV room was around the corner, and I was free to use the kitchen. He pushed the "in" door to the kitchen, where three boys were standing talking to one another, one completely shirtless and completely covered in hair like a middle-aged man. I did not exactly know what to think about that one.
First impressions have so far been 0/3, and this did not help anyone's case. The hairy, shirtless boy said hello and enthusiastically waved before continuing his conversation. I ushered myself right out of the "out" door towards the stairs. Rob tried to explain that that was a normal occurrence with Dan, and with a shake of his head, lead me back up the stairs towards the living room.
The living room, much like the rest of the house, is old and dated. The entire floor is stained evergreen carpet, the same color as the front door. The walls were wood-paneled, and chandeliers covered the ceiling with fake candelabra lights spaced on the wall. The living room happened to be the only room in the house with a bit of natural light coming through, with all of the windows facing towards the street.
The windows themselves were covered in 1960's jungle fabric curtains. The room sported an old piano in the corner, with a fire place on the far right wall and with couches of varying degree in all the corners. I later learned it was the "formal" living room, given all the odd formal-type decorations. I sat close to the door on the edge of a leather burgundy couch and looked towards Rob.
Rob gave me an odd look from across the room on another couch and explained that the couches he was next to were the comfortable ones. Nearly losing a flip flop, I make my way over to him and take the couch opposite of him. On the large, round, beaten-up table in front of us laid my housing contract, which I signed.
Rob worked out with Lee that since I am in a bad financial position, I only have to pay 200 dollars a month to live there. I handed over the last of the cash I had, saving 20 dollars for some food. I take one last glance at Rob (who has grown on me a bit), and walk back over to Cam's house across the street, wondering what the hell I had just got myself into.
The next day, I traveled home to collect the last of my belongings before my move into the house. All I had to my name was a small TV, a mini fridge, and a suitcase full of clothing. I rolled into the gravel parking lot right near the back door. I typed in the door code and walked into the foyer towards my new found living space. I assessed the damage and started dragging my suitcase up the back door stairs and into my room.
I continued this process with everything while Rob sat in a green chair in the foyer. He asked if I needed help and I politely refused, continuing to struggle. In the time being, while I made trips back and forth to the car, another boy slightly taller than me with a wide grin and a mustache appeared sitting on the trophy case ledge.
As I finished moving my things into the room and tossed my belongings into drawers, I figured I should go introduce myself. I awkwardly walked out, then placed myself right outside the door and sat on the ledge listening to the conversation. Joining the conversation was easy enough. All four of us began chatting, and I got to know everyone there.
Besides Rob and the other boy (whose name I learned was Spencer), a different boy appeared on the couch closest to the front door. What made the boy on the couch interesting was the fact that he had two bottles duct-taped to his hands and I couldn't understand the significance of it.
After some explaining, I learned his name was Shawn and it was in fact an actual drinking game he was practicing for and that is why he decided to duct-tape bottles to his hands. I got a good laugh out of that, and I finally started to feel a little more comfortable around who I've met.
There wasn't much to do, so we decided to play pong in the dingy basement. As they set up the cups, I was with Spencer across from Shawn and Rob. Spencer and I happened to be pretty good at the game, and he was growing on me. He was someone I could see as a great friend to me in the future.
Rob started taking particular interest in me after a while. We sat outside, talking and chatting with everyone else, but he continued to take long glances at me throughout the night. Finally, as the night came to a close, Rob went indoors and I said goodnight to the other two. I found him asleep, sitting up in the green chair in the foyer. I tipped up his hat and asked him if he needed help to bed as he just smiled and kind of nodded his head.
I decided to help him up. I put his arm around my shoulder and had him walk with me up the stairs. I came to the second floor landing and looked down the long hallway, then asked which room belong to him. He told me it was the room next to the exit door on the right. I entered the dark room and helped him lay on the futon. I said goodnight, but with a huge grin he asks me if he could get a goodnight kiss.
I smile back and give him a peck on the cheek and head down the hallway, down the stairs to my room and laid down on my mattress.
Not long after staring at the ceiling and collecting my feelings, I hear a soft knock on my door.
These next few segments of the story are the good times, but we will hit the bad here shortly. Stay tuned for the 3rd part of my tell story.