Roommate Roulette

Roommate Roulette

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Finding a new roommate on short notice was as stressful as hell. When Janice suddenly decided she couldn’t stand living in the city anymore and was moving back to whatever small town she’d come from, I was instantly under the gun. As a waitress, I couldn’t cover the rent on my two-bedroom place. I needed to find someone to help me with expenses — fast.

Janice had been problematic from the start. She left messes everywhere, and she played her music too loud. Even with my back to the wall, I didn’t want someone like that in the apartment again. I needed a person I could reside with peacefully and compatibly.

I asked around my circle of friends, but everybody who I knew I would pair up with nicely already had their living situations sorted out. I only had a week to find someone, but I was still determined to trade up, roommate-wise.

I took to social media and started searching through more distant acquaintances. It got dicey real quick. A couple of guys made inappropriate offers. They’d come live with me — as long as there would be “benefits.” I decided right then I would only consider women for roommates.

But for various reasons so many of the girls were no good either. Usually their social media profiles showed me that we would ultimately never get along. I wanted to live in a stress-free environment. Was that so much to ask for? I worked my ass off at the restaurant. To come home to a serene living space seemed a reasonable reward.

In the midst of that crazy scramble I got a call out of the blue from my past. Felicity. Jeez, I hadn’t heard from her in ages!

“Wow,” I told her, “you sure picked an interesting time to get back in touch!”

But I was delighted to be talking to my old friend again. We had worked together and been very tight chums. I was heartbroken when she’d taken a restaurant manager’s job in another city.

“Hannah, I’m actually visiting my folks, so I’m in town. Want to grab a drink tonight?”

God I did, but I had so much to do. Still, it was Felicity. I’d hate myself if I didn’t get to see her.

“Hell yeah,” I said, and we arranged a time and place.

When we met that night, we hugged each other so hard my back popped. All day I had been basking in memories of our friendship. But at that moment they came at me in a flood — including, of course, that one special night when the two of us had hooked up. I cherished that encounter. It had occurred right after she’d accepted the job in that other city.

We had initially been comforting each other. I remembered stroking her hair as we talked about how much we’d miss one another. I can’t recall who kissed who first, but when our lips touched it was like a flash fire. We made out like mad, tongues tangling wildly until finally we were consumed by the heat of the moment and took it all the way. The memory of her body, the feel of her hands, her skin — those most cherished recollections stayed with me, satisfyingly seared into my mind forever.

But back to our reunion. After settling at a table in a quiet corner of the bar, we ordered wine.

“How’s your life going?” I asked.

She gave me a wan look and told me, “Not so hot.”

Felicity explained the manager’s post was rough. She was working three times as hard as when she’d waited tables. The stress was unreal, and the salary wasn’t even all that great. Overall, she was simply burning out.

“So,” she finished, “I thought I’d come out, see my folks and take a break. I’d really hoped to see you, too.” She reached across the table and took my hand, sending a tingle through me. “How’re things with you, Hannah?”

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