“It’s him ?”, a girl in a tank top and jeans, early twenties,asked the landlord. He nodded, with a confused face and she started storming towards me. Not many girls in Hyderabad wear tank tops.
“Hey, I don’t know who you are. But listen to me”, I’m sure she’s got pissed by something I can see that in her intimidating face.
“I loved this place so much. So I booked it five days in advance and now these guys here say that this place is already rented by you ? What does that mean, Huh? “, she stopped speaking finally.
“Look,whoever you are, they are absolutely correct. I paid for this apartment before you booked”, I said making air quotes, stressing the word ‘booked’. What does she even mean she booked, I rented this place ten days ago.
“What?”, she snorted, “So whatever that is sold by this app is a fake?”, she gave in the argument, went aside and started talking to someone on the phone.
“So, what’s the matter?”, I asked my landlord, he called me an hour ago saying there has been a situation with my apartment. “Who is that girl?”
“I don’t know ! She says she booked this place in advance through some app or something. Kids these days are so weird. You don’t worry about anything. I promise you this is yours”, he said with a smile a salesman makes after his pitch.
“Yeah. I guess I believe you”, I said to him.
Then I checked the apartment. The landlord said he would cleanup the whole place and fix up any damages. The girl came a few minutes later with a calmer face and attitude now.
“Hey, I want to talk to you”, she said softly.
“Sure”, I said.
“Apparently, this is the mistake of this online apartment finder company. I called them and they apologized and everything. They didn’t change the status even after it was rented”, she explained.
“Yeah shit happens. You shouldn’t have trusted an online company for an apartment “, I said something guessing its my turn to talk now.
“Yeah.They offered me a costlier apartment at same price but I love this place actually, close to my work, calm environment and everything”, she completed her words by looking at the apartment in a sentimental way.
” I’m sorry, I liked this apartment too. Been waiting since about fifteen days for it to get fixed up. That landlord is so lazy or negligent.”, I said to her in a sympathetic tone.
“It’s okay. Don’t need to sorry me or anything.It’s my foolishness.”, she said.
“I am Raj, by the way”, I said.
“Oh, I’m Priya”, she said. We shook hands. It was a weird introduction I give that but we are not in an Indian movie right ?
“Where are you from?”, I asked.
“Vizag. Technically, but I’ve been here since seven years or something”,she said,” my parents live in Vizag though “.
“So you wanted to live independently ?”,I asked her out of curiosity.
“Not like that, I was living with my friends in a shared apartment. It became crowded and I didn’t like it”, she started talking as if there is a story to tell, “It was not a very good apartment.I wanted to rent an apartment and share it with someone. It would be more calm and mature I guess”.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought of this apartment too. I would share it with one of my friends “, I was lying. I wanted to live alone. Lot of people say that living alone brings the best out of you and helps to know yourself better. I don’t know why I lied to her. May be I felt that I might be embarrassed when I said that I would live alone.
“Good for you.”, she said.
“I hope you find a better apartment, I have to leave now “, I stopped talking as if I needed her permission to go.
“Yeah. Bye. Nice meeting you”, She said with a smiling face. I smiled back said “Good Bye” and started walking to where I parked my bike.
I was about to start my bike when she came running towards me. “Hold up”, she started to speak with heavy breath, “Can I be the person sharing that apartment with you ?” I was shocked, removed my helmet and got off the bike.
“What do you mean ?”, I asked as it didn’t make proper sense. A girl asking a random stranger guy if she can live with him ? Something must be wrong with her.
“I’m asking if I can share the apartment with you”, she started speaking and I felt she was trying to convince me now, “I know you wanted to live with your friend but I can be a friend. Just give it sometime. I’ll be a very good roommate”
“Yeah, but I don’t know anything about you. How can I suddenly start living with you? “, I said.
“That’s not your concern at all. You are hesitating to live with a girl that’s all right ?”. She was true.”You can interview me. I can make arrangements so that you can talk to my friends to know about me if you want. There’s nothing to worry about”.
Things are going out of hand. I need to tell her the truth.
“Hey listen, I lied about my friend and all. I wanted to live alone actually “, I said with a low tone.
“In a two bedroom apartment ? Are you dumb ?”, she snapped at me.
“I didn’t find a single bedroom apartment nearby so I have to take this “, I defended myself. I thought I have to be strong for myself now, “Now, listen lady, it sucks you didn’t find this place but there are lot of places around. Go find one don’t try to convince me and I am not at all interested in a roommate especially not a girl “.
“What do you mean ‘a girl’ ?”, she seemed mad.
“I can’t live with a girl. Things may get complicated and I don’t want that”, I said, “I want my space right now in my life. And what do people think about this ? What about your parents and friends”.
“Why do you worry about my friends and parents? You have issues with your friends and parents? And I don’t care what other people think I’m doing this for myself it doesn’t concern them “, She is a clever girl and has been reading me like a book.
“The problem is I don’t know you and you don’t know me at all and I’m a guy. Is it okay for you to live with a guy?”.
“I have no problem at all. I’m the one that asked you remember? Don’t think as a typical Indian millennial “, She convinced me finally. Why is this girl so smart?
“Aren’t you scared or something? I might be a psycho. A rapist. I can bring my friends over and..”,I’m trying to get rid of her.
“Nah, you don’t seem anything like that. And call me a girl again and make sexist statements, I’ll kill you and live in your apartment”, I was a bit sexist, yeah.
After a few minutes of similar talking and arguments. I finally agreed upon the condition that she can’t decorate the room no matter what and I’ll have the best room. The important part of the agreement is, if I didn’t like it after two months I can ask her to leave and she leaves.
We talked to the landlord. He was shocked like crazy and didn’t say much. We asked him to make an extra key for her.
“So, when will you move in ?”, I asked her.
“Maybe in a week or less “, She said.
“I’ll move in after two days”, I said, assuming her next question.
“You know I have a habit of touching myself on the kitchen table, mostly daytime”
“Ew, you can’t get rid of me dude, stop trying”, Of course she is smart.