When the doors dinged open, he propelled me out into the smaller lobby. “This is RE. It’s where our Real Estate offices operate out of. Meet with an agent inside and pick out your apartment. I’ll meet you back out here.” The elevator doors closed shut, cutting off any response I might have given. Nervously, I approached the desk of the receptionist sitting there and rang the desk bell.
“Hi,” I said a bit uneasily, not sure what to say. Were all these people supposed to know my secret identity? “I’m…”
“I know who you are, sweetheart,” she said, smiling at me as she stood up to shake my hand. “And we have our best agent waiting to take care of you.” She led me through a door and down a hallway lined with identical offices. In front of the largest and most ornate door, she stopped and knocked. “Stryker is here to see you, sir,” she said, before gesturing that I was to go inside and scurrying off herself.
“Stryker, how nice to meet you,” said the man behind the desk, standing up as I entered the room and smiling widely. His teeth were crooked and there was a dab of mustard on his collar. “Luca sent around an email…you’re looking for an apartment?” I nodded and sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk. His smile grew wider. “I can help you with that. I’m Brian, by the way. Do you have a location in mind?”
“Well, I’m a student at the university, so I guess the closer to the school it is, the better,” I said uncertainly. I’d never had to deal with a real estate agent before. Brian began tapping away at his computer almost instantly.
“Got it.” There was silence for a few seconds, filled only by the familiar clacking of keys on the computer. “I have an apartment that’s ready to go just a mile from the main campus, so it’s closer than some of the dorms even. What do you think?”
“I love it,” I said, utterly speechless as I looked at the images. Hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, wide open rooms… “It’s gorgeous.” This was an amazing apartment and it was going to be mine, all mine. “How big?”
“Three floors. On the first floor, there’s two full bathrooms, a complete kitchen with a breakfast bar, a formal dining room, living room and den. The second floor is six bedrooms and another three bathrooms. And the entire third floor is the master bedroom and bathroom. All closets are walk-ins and there’s a study space available in every bedroom. Spiral staircase through all the floors and the previous owner added a fire pole extended all three floors. We can facilitate any renovations you want if there’s something that doesn’t please you about the house. And it’s rented out furnished, so you don’t have to bring in anything.” Scratch whatever I’d said about living alone. I could certainly have Nova and Simon move in, with room to spare. “Do you like it?”
“It’s perfect,” I breathed quietly. That was it. I was an apartment owner. Me, the anti-money saver. I never imagined that I’d be the first of my friends to own a place to live. “Thanks, Brian,” I said as he passed me several papers to sign.
“Please, Stryker, the pleasure is all mine.” He glanced over each of the papers and shook my hand once more, standing up to escort me back to the real estate floor’s lobby. “You’ll be great.”