"Oh, you've got stuff written down, like on actual paper? By all means, go ahead!" KSL said jovially as he busied himself in the kitchen.
She pulled out her two pieces of paper, the third copy of each one. She had thought of things, written and rewritten each one. One was business, the other was emotional. She hadn't realized she'd set it up that way until days afterward.
There were a few questions from both that made her nervous to ask, but she forged ahead anyway. She guessed that it helped the conversation with her head in her notes and his in the cooking.
"I wanted to start with a warning. I *will* be cranky about stupid every day things for a bit while I adjust back to real life. I have literally been living in a tower where I can walk to my job that I love. I haven't really had to worry about everyday things like traffic and parking in a long time. You need to be patient with me."
"And because everyone has been telling me lately that I'm negative and only see the bad side, I'm going to start with the positives list I've made." He seemed amused by the fact that most of her positives were the fact that she wasn't going to be his old roommate. He laughed at her point that if he was ever feeling down she would put googly eyes on everything in the fridge. His laugh made her stop on the rest of the list. There were invisible lines she didn't want to cross. If they were going to make this work she had to watch that any action she took wasn't taken as a relationship action.
As soon as the idea of living together came up, they had been apologetic to one another more than usual. Supportive even. It had also felt honest, and nice.
"I know you are stressed and this is a terrible situation...but living with KSL with boundries?!?!? Oh man. That would be a non-stop back and forth pseudo relationship don't you think?" Dawn had retorted to her over text one day.
She'd responded "I know it's silly, especially for a cynic like me, to think this will have a positive outcome. But I'm trying to be outside of my comfort zone in order to find happiness. I spent so much of my life closed off from every experience. It might suck, but it will be a life experience that I'll grow from no matter how it plays out. And I honestly do have a feeling it will be okay."
She went to the other list with KSL, asking about quirks of the current apartment, then got to another nerve-inducing question.
"Are you...well do you want to--"
"Use your words"
She scowled, hating when he said that. She knew it was a joke, meant to be lighthearted...but it felt too much like the passive aggressive things that came out of her mother's mouth anytime she spoke.
"Do you want to stay here? In this apartment?"
As it turned out, he wasn't quite married to the place after all. Moving would be annoying for sure, but he wasn't completely opposed to the idea. Emotionally, she felt like a fresh place would at least feel like both of theirs, instead of her moving onto his turf that he would already feel was his. She'd always feel a bit like an outsider. He had shown her his current roommates tiny room, and she suddenly remembered the claustrophobia she'd never had to feel 20 stories up in her high ceiling mirrored wall studio.
They talked about their space quirks. He wanted to be free to host his movies nights, which of course she didn't have a problem with. He also didn't have a problem with her project with Dusky. He even joked about being a part of it.
"You know people are going to talk." KSL stated.
"You know that I don't care what people think. But I think we also need to be careful. We have lots of mutual friends. I think that it's important that we don't bitch about each other in public. I think we've reached a point where we can be honest with each other. If we have a problem, we come to the other one first. You know I'm more upset if you aren't just honest with me in the first place."
He agreed, and for the first time in the conversation she relaxed. That had been her dealbreaker. If he hadn't agreed, if he had hesitated just a moment...she would have found another overpriced one bedroom and not looked back.
She was glad to be a little more settled towards a future. She was going to live with KSL for a year, save up as much money as possible, and then look for a house to buy. She'd be ready to be alone by then...at least she thought.