Sometimes It’s a Dump

“It’s definitely affordable.” Brenda was embarrassed that those were the closest she could come to words of comfort, looking around her best friend’s new apartment.

Torie stared over the top of her glasses, waiting for Brenda to finish the compliment.

It took Brenda a minute to realize that she was supposed to say something else. “And I know you’re looking forward to the freedom that you’ll have, moving out on your own, no roommates at all!” She heaved an inaudible sigh of relief, wiping the sweat from her brow in her mind’s eye.

Torie’s gaze softened up a bit. “You’re absolutely right there, Bren. No more waking up to Kit’s alarm at five in the morning, and no more cleaning Jen’s spilled off-brand cola on the kitchen counter. I can’t wait for that!”

Brenda took six steps over to the window, which looked out on a courtyard bearing one lonely artificial tree in a terracotta pot. A barbed wire-fenced courtyard. She sighed and surveyed the apartment once more. What there was of an apartment.

The living room was barely large enough for a loveseat, and the kitchen even smaller. The bathroom was the only other room. Efficiency didn’t begin to describe the tininess of the place. She realized that Torie was talking to her, and tuned back in as quickly as she could.

“…so wasn’t that brave of her?” Torie raised her eyebrows, clearly expecting Brenda to agree. Brenda nodded enthusiastically, smiling as she did so.

“Absolutely. So when are you moving in, again?” Brenda changed the subject even though she knew Torie would need help moving the day after tomorrow.


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