"I'm sure you're going to love this place," the estate agent said as she forced the key into the lock of the apartment door. "It's full of character."
My heart sank. When someone said an apartment was full of character, I took it to mean that there were a lot of problems. But I tried to be positive as the door opened and Andy and I stepped inside.
"As you can see there is a comfortable sized main room with a living and kitchen area," the estate agent, whose badge declared her name was Stacey, informed us. She flicked the light switch, brightening up the previously grey and gloomy looking apartment. "All of the furniture and appliances you see are included in the apartment, which is why this property is a little more expensive than others of a similar size, but I'm sure you will agree that it is definitely worth it."
If I was being honest I had no strong feelings towards the way the apartment was furnished. Everything was a fairly safe beige colour that left me feeling completely indifferent about whether or not I really wanted to pay the extra money for it or not.
"See," Andy whispered in my ear, "this place isn't as bad as you thought it would be, is it?"
"I guess not." My eyes scanned the room, taking in the blandness in its entirety. I would have to do something about the walls and add some colour to the room but it was bearable and the room was a reasonable size. Cosy, but big enough for one.
"And through here there is the bedroom." Stacey opened the door on the opposite wall to reveal one of the smallest bedrooms I have ever seen. Despite this they had somehow managed to fit both a double bed and a wardrobe into the space, leaving hardly any room to move around the furniture.
"Right," I said, trying not to show my disappointment. As Andy had told me, on my budget I couldn't afford to be picky.
“And the bathroom is through that door there.” The plain white door opened to reveal another bland and boring room, this time containing a shower, toilet and sink. Nothing about the bathroom inspired any sort of reaction in me but I nodded like I knew what I was doing and followed Stacey and Andy back out into the main room.
“Well, I’ll leave you two alone for a moment to get acquainted with the space and have a chat,” Stacey said, walking towards the door, heels clacking against the wooden floor.
“So?” Andy asked after a moment’s silence. “What do you think?”
“It’s…” I replied, searching deep into the recesses of my brain for a word to describe how I felt about the apartment. “It’s very…beige.”
“Is that a good thing or not?” Andy asked.
“I just don’t have any particularly strong feelings about it, that’s all,” I said. “There’s nothing wrong with it, it seems like an alright place to live, it just doesn’t…excite me.”
“But you can make it your own,” Andy reasoned with me. “Imagine it with your things in it; your pictures on the walls. This space could easily be brightened up with some of your things. You have to use your imagination.”
I could tell that Andy really liked the apartment and although I knew I shouldn’t base my decision on how he felt he was so enthusiastic I felt like I would disappoint him if I rejected the flat. I looked around like he had told me to, imagining the surfaces covered in photographs and my clock hanging from the wall in the kitchen. In my mind the bland walls began to appear a little less dull and uninspiring as I thought about where I would put all my little bits and pieces. I had a brightly covered blanket I could use to cover the boring beige sofa and I could buy a carpet to brighten up the wooden floor.
“I suppose I could see myself living here,” I confessed. “With a few touches here and there.”
“See,” Andy said, his face glowing with happiness, “I told you it would be better if you used your imagination. So? Is this the one?”
“Maybe,” I said carefully, “I think so.”
“That’s wonderful,” he gushed. “I’ll go and tell the agent the good news.” As Andy practically ran towards the front door I took another look around the main room, taking in all of its corners. I could be happy here, I told myself. We’ll have to wait and see how things go.