| I have a rare day off and Tom has taken the car to a job interview. I am sitting by the pool with a cup of coffee and the Brant Times, a local newspaper, and I have circled a few apartments and one condo. The apartments that Tom and I have already looked at are either too small, need a lot of work, too expensive, or they did not have the right feel to them. But I press on looking and this is why I chose a condo to look at today.
I dive into the cool waters of the pool and I swim my laps. About forty-five minutes later Tom is standing by the pool and I climb out. I immediately ask how the interview went and Tom replies that it was promising. The interview was at Brant Pharmacy as a pharmacy tech in training and clerk. Tom says it is noon time and he is hungry. I towel dry myself and I follow my brother back to the motel room. I take a quick shower and I change into shorts and a t-shirt. Tom and I are walking down to the boardwalk, we plan on going to Mermaids for lunch, and Tom’s cellular phone screams to life. Tom answers and says thank you a half dozen times. When Tom puts away his cellular phone I ask what that was all about.
Tom says, “That was Russell Dexter, the pharmacist and owner of Brant Pharmacy.”
I ask, “And?”
Tom says, “I got the job!”
I am so happy for him, “Congratulations Tom! When do you start working?”
Tom replies, “The day after tomorrow.”
I reply, “That’s awesome! Now all we have to do is find us a home.”
Tom asks, “Anything new in the Brant Times?”
I say, “A few apartments and a condo.”
Tom asks, “A condo?”
I say, “Yes. It’s priced reasonably and by my calculations the mortgage will be the same as some of the apartments that we have looked at and the best thing is I would own it in the end.”
Tom asks, “Do you think we could do that?”
I say, “I don’t see why not. I can take care of the mortgage payments and the utilities and stuff like that.”
Tom says, “I would pitch in.”
I do not plan on accepting money from Tom if I decide to go the condo route but I say, “Whatever. The thing is we need to have a place and soon. We have a week and a half left here at the motel.”
Tom says, “We’ll do it.”
We enter Mermaids and I say, “Do you want to view the apartments and condo with me today?”
Tom chooses a booth by the window overlooking the beach, “Not today. I would really like to chill out at the motel by the
pool if you don’t mind.”
I reply, “That’s cool. I don’t mind viewing them.”
Tom says, “Thank you.”
The waitress takes our orders and disappears. Tom ordered clam strips, onion rings, and a salad. I order the haddock plate with onion rings and I order a cup of extra thick clam chowder. As we wait for our salad and chowder I mention to Tom that I am a little concerned and Tom wonders why. I say in the three and a half weeks that we have been here in Brant California Tom has not gone for a run once. Tom was an avid runner when we were living in South Boston Massachusetts. I am just curious on why he was not running. Tom says he just took a break but he will get back to it soon and I ask if he needs new sneakers which he does.
After lunch Tom and I walk back to the Brant Inn and I grab the car keys from the room. I check out the apartments first and nothing impresses me. It is just more of the same which means they are too expensive or need work or not having the right feel to them. I meet Eric Richton at thirteen Orion Drive, where the condo is, I find him at building one and unit three. Eric and I shake hands and he leads me into the condo. The first thing I notice is the brightness of the place. We walk down a small hallway. On the right side there is a half bathroom and on the left side there is a large kitchen. Then there is a massive living room. There are sliding doors off the living room that leads out to a medium sized patio. Then Eric leads me upstairs where there are two bedrooms, each with large closets, and each bedroom has their own bathroom. I am in love with the place.
Eric and I are now both standing in the massive living room talking shop. We are going over pricing and mortgage payments. I was right. The condo is no more than the apartments that I have checked out. I can actually do this whole mortgage thing and own the place in the end. I ask when I can sign the papers. Eric has to call the owner and he steps out onto the patio as I wander around the two bedroom condo again. When I hear Eric come in from the patio I meet him again in the living room. Eric says the condo is mine if I want it. The owner of the condo has accepted my offer and I am thrilled. I say of course I will take it.
I follow Eric back to his office. We sign all the papers and then I am handed two sets of keys to the condo. We, Tom and I, can move into the condo as soon as we want to. I leave the real estate office and I drive back to the Brant Inn. I text Tom from the car and he is at the pool. I do not bother going to the motel room, I just go to the pool area, and I find Tom sitting at our usual table. I sit down with him and he asks me how the hunt went. I smile and say that I went with the condo. I just finished signing all the paperwork and I gave a down payment. I then hand Tom his set of keys to the condo. Tom is in awe and says he was wondering what was taking me so long.
I apologize to my brother, “I’m sorry Tom but I thought this was very important.”
Tom says, “Oh it is extremely important. So we now have a permanent home now?”
I say with excitement, “Yes we do. We can stay there tonight if we want.”
Tom says, “Let’s do that. I want to do that.”
I say, “I was hoping you would say that.”
Tom and I go to our motel room and we pack our duffel bags and we place everything we have gathered into the trunk of the car. As Tom adjusts everything in the trunk I go back into the Brant Inn and I check out. I get refunded some money for we did not stay the whole month. I am back at the car and I drive Tom and I to our new home. It takes us twenty minutes to get there from the motel but that is not bad and Tom is in awe at the landscaping of the property.
I park the car in our designated space and we enter the condo with all of our belongings. Tom is impressed with our new home and chooses the room overlooking the parking lot and he lets me have the room overlooking the courtyard and the Olympic sized pool. We place our belongings into our room and by now it is two o’clock in the afternoon. We then decide to take a drive two towns over to the Laren Plaza to shop for furniture for our new place. Our taste in furniture is masculine and natural. We choose things like a kitchen table for the kitchen, a couch, two reclining chairs, and a television for the living room. Then we pick out our bedroom sets with dressers, beds, and televisions. This is the first time in our entire lives that we will be sleeping in our own bedrooms and not sharing a room.
With everything chosen and paid for we decide to go to American Bar and Grill for a late lunch and early dinner. We order salads, burgers, and an appetizer of potato skins. As we sit at a tall bar table, we sip our soda, and glance at the televisions. Tom launches in on how Victor and Gwen would never have thought we would get this far in such a short time. My reply is that Victor and Gwen have never had a lot of faith in us and that is why they would be surprised by all of this. Tom and I have secured jobs and we now pay a mortgage on a home of our own. Now all that is left is registering for school and we can take our time with that.
After dinner we stop at Mart One, an all in one store, and we pick out items for the kitchen. We choose pots, pans, dishes, a coffee maker, silverware, sheets, blankets, towels for the bathrooms, pool towels, and so much more. We are having so much fun picking out stuff for our new home. Then we stop at the grocery store, Big Stop and Go, and we do an extra large grocery shopping. When we return to the condo we carry in all the bags and then I start putting the groceries away as Tom chats with me.
Tom asks, “What do you think Victor and Gwen would say about all of this?”
I shake my head, “They would call us ungrateful little fucks and tell us that we do not deserve any of this. They would try to
sabotage our happiness.”
Tom says, “They are real assholes aren’t they?”
I laugh, “And you are just figuring this out now?”
Tom laughs too, “I have always known they were just nothing but jealous freaks. They always tried to make us unhappy
I nod my head, “I know but we have each other and we would always snap out of it.”
Tom becomes insecure for a moment, “We never have to return to South Boston, right?”
I reply, “Over my dead body. We are making it out here Tom and we will continue to make it. We know how to work as a team and as long as we do that anything is possible.”
Tom asks, “What do you think they are doing?”
I reply, “They are probably having drug parties. Victor is probably beating Gwen time after time. And they are probably
thrilled that we are gone.”
Tom asks, “You don’t think they miss us just a little bit?”
I say, “Gwen probably wishes we were there so she wouldn’t have to take the violence that Victor dishes out.”
Tom says, “Most likely. I wish our parents were different. I wish we had a loving family. I often wonder what that would be like.”
I reply, “I have wondered that too brother but our parents, Victor and Gwen, are pure evil. They are monsters and they will always be monsters.”
After everything is put away in the kitchen we bring bags up to our rooms for tomorrow when the delivery men deliver our furniture. After all of that Tom and I set out to explore our new home. There is an Olympic sized swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, a game room with a dozen arcade games in it, and there is a reading room as well. There is also a little path that leads down to a private beach. Tom and I find a white log that has washed up on the shore and we sit down on the log and we watch the sun paint the sky as it sets. Then we go back to the condo and we spend the night on the living room floor.