“How can anyone afford to live alone in this city?” Eric said, partly to himself, partly to the other guys in the room.
He was deeply reclined on Kyle’s couch, with his laptop perched on his knees and his head balanced on his hands. Jack and Kyle were sprawled out half-watching a March Madness game as they both swiped through dating apps. It was a rainy Saturday, and the gang had elected to watch the games and have some beers at Kyle’s place instead of hit the bars.
“I mean, look at this,” Eric continued, despite having no affirmation that the other two were even listening. “This tiny studio is almost double what I’m paying for half of my dope two-bedroom right now. Am I going to have to have a roommate until I’m fucking 30?”
“Why can’t you just keep living with the guy you’re already living with, again?” Kyle asked lazily without looking up from his phone. “He seemed pretty chill from the two times I’ve met him.”
Eric stared at him for a moment before responding. “Kyle, you’ve met him literally dozens of times. And we can’t live together because our jackass landlord is tearing down the building and doing a full rebuild, and he’s planning on finding his own place because he’s like 28. Do you not remember me talking about this last night? You gotta stop blacking out, dude.”
“To be fair, Eric, you’ve been bitching about a lot of stuff lately so it is hard to remember all of it.” Jack piped up with a smirk on his face. “Are you and Alyssa done with your lovers spat now that she’s back from Mexico or what?”
“Fuck y’all.” Eric said, shaking his head as he watched kids younger and infinitely more athletic than him play to advance to the Elite Eight. “Nah, we’re good now. We squashed it.”
Jack and Kyle nodded with satisfaction, glad they wouldn’t have to read any more text exchanges between the two quarreling lovebirds. Suddenly, Jack perked up. “Dude, why don’t you just move in with her? It’s like all the perks of living alone, with the financial savings of splitting a place, right?”
“Huh.” Eric said, his forehead furrowing with thought. “That’s actually an interesting idea. She’s on a month-to-month lease and has been talking about how she’s ready to find a new place. But aren’t we a little young to be living together? I mean, we’re only a year in.”
“I don’t know, man.” Kyle said, now fully torn away from his phone and the TV and focused on the conversation. “How often do y’all stay at each other’s places right now?” Eric thought for a second before replying. “Shit, I mean, probably like five nights a week? The weekends, obviously, and then usually a couple of nights during the week. Maybe that’s not a bad idea. I don’t know if I’m ready to live with a girlfriend though. Like, I’d never have my alone time. Plus, she’s going to try and watch The Bachelor or some shit when sports are on, and that’ll probably break us up.” His grin indicated he was joking, but his eyes showed genuine concern.
Jack got up to grab another beer, talking as he walked to the kitchen. “First of all, The Bachelor is pretty funny. There’s a lot worse shit she could be watching, like any of those housewife shows. Second, you can stream all sports on your laptop, so it’s not like you couldn’t watch both.” Walking back into the living room, he tossed a couple of cold Coors Lights into Eric and Kyle’s waiting hands as he continued. “Also, you guys both have, like, your own hobbies and friends and shit that you keep pretty separate, so I think you could handle the lack of alone time.”
“Damn, who made you the expert of cohabitation? The closest you’ve ever gotten is when you and that Delta Gamma passed out in the hotel bathroom together on Spring Break and we had to have the maintenance guy come unlock the door.” Kyle said, as the three of them burst into laughter.
Eric turned out the banter, however, as he stared unblinkingly at the TV and thought about what his friends had said. Was he ready to live with his girlfriend? It would be nice to not have to worry about who’s place they were staying at. It would sure solve some drunken arguments. The more he thought about it, the more he warmed to the idea. They could view apartments together, and decorate together. He smiled as he imagined their first Bed Bath & Beyond trip and hanging up pictures around their new place. He loved spending time with Alyssa, and the idea of the two of them sharing a living space like a real, grownup relationship filled him with excitement.
He snapped out of his head, shut his laptop, and grabbed his phone off the coffee table. “I’m gonna do it.” He said to the room. “I’m going to ask her to move in with me.” To sarcastic cheers from his friends, he clicked on his iMessage app and typed out his text.
Eric [5:36pm]: Hey babe, do you wanna come over for dinner tonight? We can find a recipe and cook a nice dinner together and get wine drunk…