Roommates (Roommates #1) - Erin Leigh

Chapter One

Flying the coop


Looking the apartment over one more time from the images loaded on the website, I finalize the list of things I’m going to need to ensure I don't forget anything. Fortunately, it’s furnished with the essentials like beds and couches so we just have to bring the rest of what we need to live.

I didn't think I’d be able to take the job offer until I discovered that rent in Hartford is reasonable, very. A large furnished two-bedroom apartment, downtown, with a fabulous kitchen and a view of the park, is under two thousand dollars. Between Sami finding me a roommate the day after I got the job offer and the cheap rent, leaving home is actually a reality.

Split amongst Sami’s cousin’s friend BJ and me, we won’t even be a thousand a month each in bills.

Hopefully she’s cool. She seems cool.

Except her name. BJ?

It’s such an unfortunate name.

Girl or boy, it’s a cruel fate.

I can only imagine the terrible things kids said to her when she was around twelve and everyone was discovering what BJs were from the kids with older siblings. I can think of things, but I never would have said them. I would have thought them for sure.

What horror must lie in that first name for her to choose BJ over it?





I heard of a Biscuit once. She was in the South on one of those Gypsy, dumpster-diving, I-married-my-second-cousin reality TV shows. Reality TV is the first sign that the apocalypse is nigh, if you ask my mother. She would take us all back to the renaissance if it were up to her.

Glancing at the apartment once more, I imagine what my roommate will be like and how our life is going to look.

My first real dose of freedom.

I close the laptop and sigh. A small part of me, actually a very large part of me, wishes I’d ignored my parents’ (mother’s) demands and just gone to Manhattan to live with Sami. When she invited me I thought about it seriously until my mother tore the idea apart.

I would have regretted it my entire life if this opportunity hadn’t come along. Not sewing my wild oats in college was one thing, but not living on my own before I ended up in a serious relationship was another.

And my relationship might be headed toward serious. Maybe. We’re still negotiating that one.

“Are you almost ready, Natalie?” my mother calls from the hall using her teacher voice. She has a schedule to keep and by the gods we are keeping it.

“Just getting the last couple of things,” I call back, not raising my voice too high. I don't want to start something. She’s already amped up in her disapproval of me going at all.

Grabbing my photo of William and me from my nightstand, I add it to the final box I have to pack. It’s of us standing under one of the many beautiful trees on his parents’ estate. It’s sunset and we both look fabulous. I sigh, staring at him, wondering if things between us will really work out.

Is this the end of one part of my life and the beginning of another?

Is it really what I want?

Part of me thinks I won’t know until I live on my own and figure my life out for myself.

He’s that fairytale ending I don't see in my future at all, and yet here I am, dating him—again. He’s more than I ever would have imagined for myself. I always saw myself as more of a “girl meets guy at coffee shop” sort. Not girl meets guy at yacht racing when she’s twelve and then spends the next seven years watching him and imagining.

It was never that he happened to be the son of the people who own the nicest house in Greenwich.

It wasn't that he was gorgeous and charming.

It was the sparkle in his eyes when he spoke and the way he smiled like no one in the room saw us.

I spent over half a decade imagining it from the silent sidelines before he finally asked me out.

But even now I don't know why he’s dating me.

I’m not humble about how I look; we just don't match. I’m pretty, but pretty in Greenwich is the bare minimum a girl can be. Beautiful is expected. I never cared about that, not as much as my peers.

“Darling, we have to go—” Mom comes in, giving me a look. It softens as she sees what I’m staring at, the only thing