To anyone still reading – welcome back. I’m looking forward to restarting. Still hammering out details on how often, but thinking once a week for now. Appreciate you reading, and if you’re not or hate the story or hate me? No worries, I’m writing this for myself mostly, and really, that’s enough for me. :) This post will be short and sweet while I get my bearings!

I fiddled around on my computer, pretending to look busy while really, my entire insides felt like a melted pile of goo. I had about a zillion reasons to be anxious, and the fact that Minda’s office door had been closed most of the day set me off for some reason. Minda rarely ever shut her door when she wasn’t in a meeting, and I know for a fact she wasn’t in many today.

“Hidey ho!”

I quick whipped around to see where the annoying greeting came from, immediately minimizing my screen as I did so. Too late.

Mallory’s perfectly manicured eyebrow arched. “House hunting?” Her voice was neutral yet for some reason, I flushed at her remark.

“Yeah, sort of,” I said, brushing off the conversation. In reality, I was examining the house Randy showed me a week ago. It was officially on the market now and I kept taking sneak peaks at the listing on Zillow, even going so far as to price out how much a mortgage would cost me a month. Still though. Buying a house instead of a downtown condo would make me feel a hundred years old.

Before she could tell me about some amazing house she just bought with 5 stories, indoor pool, and a massive garden for her pet unicorns or something, I instead changed the subject. “What’s up?”

Unfortunately that didn’t deter her. “How does Nic feel about that?” she asked instead of answering my question.

“Uhhh…should he feel one way about it or another?” I asked, genuinely confused. I mean, beyond him not wanting me to be homeless or anything, why would Nic care if I bought a house?

Mallory threw me a knowing look. “Does it fit in with your….future plans?”

I was already shaking my head. “What future plans?”, I asked, bemused. “We’ve only been dating for a few months, we’re certainly not there or anything!”  I shook my head again. What kind of planet did Mallory live on, thinking a couple of young 20 year olds were going to talk about marriage and buying a house after just a few months?

Mallory just nodded thoughtfully. “I get it”. Switching gears, she went on. “I’ll just pop in to see Minda.”

“You have a meeting with her?”

Mallory was already heading into Minda’s office. “Yeah, it’s been arranged for a few days, silly!”  She put her hand on the doorknob. “Hey, want to grab drinks after work tomorrow? Gather up a few people?”

“Sure….” I said slowly. “I’ll call the girls around the floor.” We normally didn’t hang out in a group after work, but it could be fun, and I wanted to network more around the company anyway.

“No need! You just ask Nic and TJ, and I’ll ask a few of my friends. Sound good?”  Without waiting for a answer, Mallory let herself in the door, leaving me blinking in surprise.

“Ok then,” I said to myself.

I rubbed my thumb over my phone, thinking. Things were never really the same between Nic and myself after the NYE party. Against the advice of several articles I googled, I decided to tell Nic how betrayed and put out after the party. He had apologized, but had pointed out that he couldn’t have known I had a horrible time if I didn’t let him know how I was feeling at the time. Even me pointing out that Mallory had monopolized his time for hours fell on deaf ears.

“She’s just a friend, Maddie! She was alone at the party, and didn’t know anyone there!” he argued, making his case.

Eventually I just dropped the whole thing. I mean, Mallory wasn’t dating Nic, I was, and I didn’t want to be one of those insecure girls who feels the need to watch her guy’s every move.

Finally, I just text him quick. HH after work tomorrow?

When and where?

We arranged a few details then before I put my phone down I sent one last text.

Invite a few friends if you want, like Tyler or TJ.

K. Was his reply.

Back at my screen I flicked over to look at the house one more time. On the market for 7 days, and 13 people had already marked it as a favorite. I started to wonder who those people were, and if they were setting up showings and bidding on it.

Blowing out my breath, I clicked the x in the corner of the tab to close it. I sat for one more minute, and then, without even thinking about it, I opened up my Gmail. Near the top was an email Randy sent this morning, with a few links to other condos he thought I’d like.

I hit reply and told him which condo I was willing to see. Then, right before I signed my name, I wrote

Been thinking about that 2 bedroom house you showed me. Any offers on it yet? 

I quick typed my  name and hit send before I could retract it. Done.

Just then, an email popped up in my work inbox. A meeting titled “Touchbase”. I opened it up and saw that it was scheduled for just Minda and myself, for 4pm this afternoon.

Gulping, I hit “accept.”



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