In 2019, we are telling the story of a romance over the course of 9 months and 13 chapters. Each chapter will feature some combination of art, ice cream, cocktails, baked goods, and music. Each participant has been tasked with creating an element of the story inspired by the corresponding chapter. Thank you for checking out chapter five. Click here for chapter one, chapter two, or chapter three, or chapter four. The participants this month are: @monsterteaparty, @jamienoguchi, @sweetactionicecream, @ninapolicano, @animated_stevie, @theblankcanvasco, @theravenousjackie
It’s possible neither Jennifer nor Nick would have taken the initiative to have a “move in” conversation when they did if Jennifer’s lease wasn’t ending. They’d been dating for 9 months and more often than not spent the night together at one of their apartments. Often Nick’s because he only had one roommate, a quiet friend from high school who they would go days without seeing. Nick didn’t mind staying at Jennifer’s, but she had 3 other roommates. With that many personalities, it was always at least on the verge of an issue if Nick was there for two nights in a row or four nights in a week, or it didn’t really matter how often he was there until one of her roommates thought it was too much.
When the landlord sent a lease to Jennifer’s roommates a couple months before it was ending, she started thinking a place of their own might make sense. She mentioned the lease casually to Nick at dinner that evening, but he didn’t pick up on the clue. The next week, she mentioned it again and suggested they could maybe save some money if they moved in together, you know if his lease was ending anyway, too. He said it was, and two days later they started looking at places. Nick wanted to live in the apartment above the ice cream shop, which didn’t seem like a good idea to Jennifer. Jennifer wanted to live in a 5th floor walk up, but only until Nick pointed out how many books she had and would have to move. (Jennifer didn’t find out Nick’s lease didn’t end the same month as her until the day before they moved in together. He’d never had a lease. His friend’s dad had bought his friend the apartment and Nick had an arrangement where he paid rent intermittently, but cooked and cleaned regularly.)
Eventually, they found a place a little more expensive than they had wanted, and a little smaller than they were hoping for, but a little closer to work for both of them than they’d expected, and with a really nice oven to boot. It got great light in the afternoons, and since the windows were only a few years old, it was the first place either of them had ever lived without a draft.
When they moved in, Nick was surprised how many clothes and books and framed pieces of art and kitchen gadgets Jennifer had. This collection of… well, stuff, had somehow been masked in her previously larger apartment. The first day they were in their new place, before practically anything was unpacked, Jennifer had made Nick help her hang all of her art. She’d never been able to hang anything at her other apartments for one reason or another and she was ready. Nick’s only contribution to the walls was a Pinterestesque screenprint with hand-drawn type detailing the differences between ice cream and gelato. After hanging everything, they sat on the front stoop with a bottle of wine and quietly watched it get dark in their new neighborhood.