Home Sitting -- Copyright © 2004 By Koty Lapid. It is a quirky little romance story. By home-sitting for a stranger, Gale almost falled for Nick - the owner of the house, just by looking at his things and his gadgets.
My friend, Jeff rang. "Hey Gale," he said in his usual lazy drawl. "Wanna house sit my buddies place?"
I wasn't too keen at first but when he said it was East 63rd street, where all the rich people live, I screamed 'yes' so hard I nearly deafened him.
Our apartment was on 53rd street, not a bad place in Manhattan, but the neighborhood was far from the glamour was attached to the address of 63rd street. We got by but money was short so I could only ever dream of living there. In fact, it was a miracle that we could afford on 53rd street. The landlord thought low rents would attract long term tenants, happy at cheap accomodation. He could make a cheerful island in a busy city.
I knew that the home-sit would put more things on my weekly ‘to do list'. I would still have to do the weekly chores I share with my roommate, Rosy. Not that I minded as I knew it would be a rare opportunity to live the good life.
I packed a few things into my suitcase, called my roommate and told her that, although I would be away for a couple of weeks, I would come back when the chores needed doing.
As luck would have it, the other apartment wasn't too far away, so I walked. Expecting me, the doorman had the keys ready for me. When I opened the door of the apartment I knew I had made a good decision. The living room was spacious, with light colored comfortable furniture. Looking at the furniture, I imagined Nick as a guy with an appreciation for comfort and beauty.
I toured the rest of the apartment, exploring to my heart's content. The kitchen and the bath were filled with all manner of electronic gadgets. I investigated till I grew weary and then took a bath and put myself to bed, luxuriating in fine linen sheets and the most comfortable bed I'd ever lain in.
Before I drifted off, I reflected over the things I'd seen in the apartment.
I couldn't remember seeing anything that require a house-sitter to prevent robbery. The only point of house-sitting, as I saw it, was to provide that 'somebody lives here' look. As I arrived at that conclusion, my heart filled with warm feeling. I began to like that Nick person. My last thought before drifting into sleep was that if he really needed somebody to warm up his apartment, he be a good hearted, people-loving guy.
Around midnight, I woke up and went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. While the water was boiling, I tested some of the appliances I always admired at the stores, but had never had the chance to try out.
Upon finishing my coffee, I took more appliances out of kitchen cabinets and tried to figure out how they worked.
Each time I took out another appliance, my admiration for Nick grew. When I found the fashionable electric griddle with its smooth flat metal surface, I knew I was developing a crush on him. The fact that he didn't use a simple pan for cooking which would still need a little oil no matter how non-stick it was, but instead used a special thing that cooked by dry heat, told me that Nick was a very health-conscious person. As I was always on the look-out for ways to improve my health, he looked to me like the kind of guy I was looking for.
At 8 o’clock in the morning, I suddenly realized I was still in the kitchen and knew I'd have to stop playing around with the appliances and hurry to leave for work.
A mad scramble later and just as I was about to open the apartment’s front door, the phone rang. It was Nick calling, asking me if everything was okay. I thanked him for the opportunity to be in his apartment and began to tell him with great enthusiasm how much I liked his kitchen appliances.
"What do you like most?" he asked.
I told him, but he didn't know what I was talking about.
What he had to tell me crushed my new hopes. Nick had a decorator who, not only planned the decoration scheme, but also chose and bought all the appliances. Because Nick had to spend so much time on the road, he hadn't even had the chance to learn what he had at his own apartment.