Pine Street Episode 2

Franny’s local friend had checked out the apartment for her, before she made the trek over from her city to sign the lease. She remembered the phone conversation. “You’re going to love the place, Franny,” Leo had said. “There are huge windows in the living room, and the best coffee in town is right across the street.”

“Are there windows in the bedroom, too?” Franny had asked. Gazing out at the moon when she couldn’t sleep (which, to be honest, was more often than not), had been one of the few ways she’d held her grip on sanity the last few months.

Leo had paused. “I’m not sure. I think so. To tell the truth, I was paying more attention to the work going on, the renovation.” He’d explained that his visit had coincided with repairs to the apartment prompted by the previous tenant’s failure to report a water leak in the bathroom. “It’s the cleanest job site I’ve ever seen,” Leo added, a note of marvel in his voice.

Franny smiled. Leo was a sweet guy, and she wasn’t surprised that he’d failed to notice things like windows in the bedroom, if there was carpentry going on and people to talk to. Guys mostly failed to notice things like window placement vis a vis the moon, in her experience. They paid close attention to things like electrical panels and access doors to crawl spaces and the cleanliness of job sites. Or at least Leo would pay close attention to those things. He also proved woefully ignorant about the color of the walls.

“Kind of white, or off white,” was all he could offer. “But the new shower door is absolutely level and plumb. You can be certain of that.”

When Franny made it over in person, ready to sign the lease, she saw what Leo meant. The coffee shop sat directly across the street. The apartment’s repairs had been made by someone who truly cared about things like level and plumb. The walls were a warm vanilla, contrasted with the linen-y white of the cabinets and trim. While the apartment manager told her all about the lease and the inspections and the rules of the place, Franny surreptitiously checked out where the moon might appear through the single bedroom window – not as large as those in the living room, but large enough.

She signed the lease and wondered what size van she would need to move her few things, and whether the good weather would hold long enough for the drive to be uneventful, or whether her move would take place across a landscape of snow and ice.

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