Apartment Hunting

Although it was Saturday, they agreed to meet in the alley behind his office building. This time Olivia was waiting for him. He smiled as he approached her. They were going to see the few flats from the first listing. He was anxious to see them and hoped that he would find something as soon as possible. He still hadn’t mentioned anything to his father. It would be better to wait until he found something first.

Olivia beamed at him before they hugged. “All set to go apartment hunting?”

“Yes, I am.”

“We’ll take my car.”

“Okay.”

“Let’s go.” They walked to her car which was parked nearby.

It was a bit cloudy but a nice day otherwise. “How was your week?”

“Busy, as usual. How about yours?”

“Busy.”

“What do you do to unwind after a busy week?”

“I go for walks on the moors or horseback riding. What about you?”

“A nice bubble bath or a glass of wine after a light meal.”

“Sounds very interesting.”

“Do you sometimes have the glass of wine when you’re having your bubble bath?”

“Yes.”

“I thought that only happens in movies.”

She laughed. “No, they happen in real life too. Remember Art imitates life.”

“That’s true.”

“And do you know that there’s a website which tells you which tells you what the best bubble bath wines are?”

He stared at her. “You’re not serious!”

She laughed again. “I kid you not. The website is called, Just Wine. Check it out.”

“Which wine do you unwind with when you’re in a tub full of bubbles?”

“A Pinot Noir because it’s light-bodied not like the wines high in alcohol which will get you over-heated.”

“That makes sense.”

“And sometimes, I treat myself to a bowl of chocolate dipped strawberries.”

“That sounds downright decadent.”

She giggled. “It does, doesn’t it?”

He smiled. “I guess you deserve it after being busy all day or all week.”

“Maybe, one of these evenings, I can persuade you to join me for a bubble bath, complete with a glass of Pinot Noir and or a bowl of strawberries dipped in rich, dark chocolate. And if things get over-heated, it wouldn’t be the wine.”

Layne flushed and was relieved when they arrived at the first building. They went up to a the 2nd floor flat with a lounge/dining room, recently fitted kitchen and bathroom and a double bedroom. “It’s unfurnished, though,” he said.

“Yes, it is but I brought you here because it’s in a quiet location and is a short walk from the A6 bus route and Levenshulme train station. There’s a lot of natural light and it’s quite spacious. You can easily walk up the stairs.”

“It’s in a residential area. From the outside, it doesn’t look like an apartment building. It looks more like a very large three storey house. The living-room, bedroom and kitchen are all good sizes. The bathroom is a bit small but it could work. And the rent is reasonable at £695 pcm.”

“If you’re interested in this one, the deposit is £802.”

“I’m not keen on it being unfurnished, though. I want a move in ready flat and no headaches with having to buy and move in any furniture.”

“All right. Let’s go and look at the next one.”

The next flat was in Salford Quays and it was on the 5th floor. It was fully furnished spacious 1 bedroom with floor to ceiling windows. It had a good sized living-room and bedroom. The bathroom was bigger than the last one. “I like this flat,” he said.

“There’s a podium garden, gym, meeting room and a resident lounge area. It’s above your budget of £1,000 pcm”

“Only by £50.”

“All right. We’ll mark this one as the first contender. We have two more to see. Let’s go.”

Their next stop was Castlefield. The flat was a furnished 1 bed-room on the first floor. It also had floor to ceiling windows. “This is very nice.”

“Yes and it’s below your budget at £965.”

“I can see myself living here.”

“Good. Another contender. Finish looking around and then, we’ll check out the last flat on our list for today.”

Their last viewing was of a two-bedroom apartment in the Lumiere Building on City Road East. “This is very nice,” Layne remarked.

“It is within walking distance to Deansgate Castlefield station. From your balcony you have stunning views over the city centre. You have an entrance hallway with lots of storage and an open plan kitchen.”

“I like that it’s on the 7th floor.”

“It’s over your budget at £ 1,150.”

“Only by £ 150. This flat is definitely a contender.”

“All right. Well, that’s it for today. I will send you more listings during the week. Let’s go.”

“Are you in a hurry to get home?” he asked as they walked to the car.

“No, why?”

“Let’s grab a bite to eat. My treat this time.”

“Sure.”

They went to a Greek restaurant nearby and while digging into Chicken Souvlaki and Lamb Kebab with rice pilaf, they talked about the flats they had visited so far. “I know my budget is £ 1,000, but I’m willing to go over it a little if I find a flat that ticks all the boxes.”

“Good. Just be aware that the flats in Deansgate are expensive–most of them will be at the top end of your budget but if you really like the area and find a flat that as you said, ticks all the boxes, then, go for it.”

“I will. This Lamb Kebab is amazing. How is your Souvlaki?”

She smiled. “It’s absolutely delicious. I love Greek food.”

Since they were both driving, they had soft drinks. “What made you decide to become a real estate agent?” he asked.

“Well, I have seven reasons for becoming one. The first, is I get to be my own boss, I love helping people to find their first flat or their dream home. It’s hard work but it’s something I really enjoy doing.”

“So, you’re not in it for the money?”

“No. I’m in it because it’s a versatile career and I get to meet and socialize with all sorts of people.”

“It’s always a blessing when you get to do something you love. A lot of people are doing jobs they like but they make do because they have expenses to pay.”

“What about you? Do you love your job?”

“Yes, I love being a Sales Manager. I enjoy leading and motivating my sales team and working with customers to better understand their needs. It’s not a boring job at all and I’m still learning.”

“Yes, we’re lucky because we get to do what we love.”

“Are you up for dessert?”

“I’m always up for dessert. Let’s see what they have…Hmmm. I’ll try the Baklava.”

“And I’ll have the Kataifi.”

“So, are you going to tell your father and step-mother that you’re moving out?”

“Yes, but I was going to wait until I found a flat first.”

“I think you should tell them now instead of waiting until then. At least they will be prepared.”

“I guess you’re right. I’ll mention it to my father.”

“Why not both of them? Don’t you and your step-mother get along?”

Layne avoided her gaze. “Yes, we do. My father and I usually have breakfast together so I was thinking of mentioning it to him then and he could mention it to her.”

“Oh. What about tonight? Were they expecting you to have dinner with them?”

“No. I mentioned to my father this morning that I might not be back in time for dinner.”

“What about tomorrow night? Do you think they’d mind if you didn’t have dinner with them?”

“Why wouldn’t I be having dinner with them?”

“You’ll be having it with me.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. Do you like Thai food?”

“Yes.”

“Good. I know just the place.”

It was after eleven when she dropped him off where his car was parked. They hugged before he got out and he waved as she drove away. By the time he got home it was after twelve-thirty. He was tired and ready to hit the sack. When Sable went to his room, he was fast asleep. Bitterly disappointed, she slipped out, closing the door quietly behind her.

Sources: Right Move; Real Estate Express; SNOV.io; Vermilion

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