BY: REBECCA PINCOLINI
Lucas met Will outside of 1930 Vermont Ave. The showing for apartment 110 began at a little over 10 a.m. but both men showed promptly at noon. “Hey man, I get the bedroom with the view, okay? You are here for apartment 110. The Rodeo Realty paper printout you are holding is for here, right?” an unfamiliar young man said.
Looking down, Lucas thought nothing about the paper he printed out the night before, but awkwardly smiled.
“Will Bruni. Pleased to rent this apartment before you!” the man said. “Lucas Hawkley. Hi,” Lucas replied.
The men started walking up the brick steps towards the opened lobby door.
“Just so you know, Lucas, I was joking with what I said about renting this place before you. I am actually in the market for a new roommate, because, you know, rent these days…” Will said. “Yeah, I do know. But I am finally ready to get out of my mom’s place, and I am looking forward to living on my own,” Lucas answered.
“I can understand the appeal of living alone, but you have been watching the news, right? Maybe staying at mom’s for now is a safe bet. The recent disappearance of that guy even has me uncomfortable, and I have been living alone since I was eighteen,” Will said. “I am not too keen on watching the news, thanks for the advice, though.” Lucas responded.
They both entered into the elevator and right after Lucas pressed the button that read “First Floor” when Will asked, “So how old are you?”
Before Lucas could answer, the elevator doors opened.
“I am twenty-four,” Lucas said as he made his first steps toward the apartment. “ Me too! What is your birth date?” Will asked. “January 24th,” Lucas responded. “Me too! Kismet!” Will yelled as he started to pull out his driver’s license.
Before Will could flash Lucas his laminated card, apartment 108’s door flew open and a toddler came barreling out in his Big Wheel, running over Will’s cream Vans.
“Hey. Get. Back. Here.” Will screamed angrily. “Relax, Will. He only looks three years old.” Lucas said uncomfortably.
Apartment 108’s female adult occupant came out in a frazzled hurry.
“Is that your imbecilic child?” Will demanded. “Excuse me? That is my son; is there a problem?” The woman asked.
Will started slowly walking towards her, and even though Lucas could not see his face, the expression the woman gave as she looked up at him read as fearful.
“Do not let it happen again, understand me?” Will whispered at her. The woman double blinked, swallowed, and then rushed off, seemingly to catch up to her son. “Can you believe that?” Will said, annoyed.
Before Lucas could respond, the realtor for apartment 110 yelled in her southern drawl, “Yoo-hoo! Are you fellas here to see this apartment?”
Lucas hesitated for a second before walking in behind Will. “What just happened?” ran through his mind.
“You boys are just going to love this view! Say, how long have you two been best buds anyhow? Renting together is pretty serious!” The realtor exclaimed.
Just as Lucas was about to correct her, Will jumped in, “Twelve years, little lady! We spent summers together on my father’s ranch in Texas, so we know a thing or two about sharing.”
Lucas, dumbfounded, walked back out the way he came in.
“Son? Everything okay…?” The realtor yelled to Lucas. “Excuse me, this is really bizarre. We will be right back.” Will said laughingly.
“Luke!” Will screamed as he chased after Lucas. “It is Lucas, Will. What the hell was that in there?” Lucas exclaimed.
“Look, I am sorry. You did not get the best impression of me with my reaction towards the tot on the life size Hot Wheels, and that thing with the realtor, well, I, really liked the idea that she perceived us to be longtime friends.” “After my roommate disappeared, I just have not been the same. Meeting new friends has been such a struggle,” Will said.
Lucas looked at him for a while, then, squinting his eyes, he asked, “What do you mean, disappeared?”
Will breathed in deeply then looked down to his right. “We got into this peculiar fight and then he left. Just like that. He did not even take his stuff.”
“I have to go, coming here was a mistake.” Lucas said, breaking eye contact. “What do you mean? You were so amped on this place,” Will asked. “See you around, Will.” Lucas regrettably said.
When Lucas reached his car, he looked back at the apartment complex and shook his head. The next morning, he headed out to 4357 Sunset Dr. to explore the insides of apartment 405. Parking was rather difficult and the elevator was broken so he annoyingly climbed the stairs, but the view of Sunset Junction from the fourth floor stairwell window was incredible.
Making his way inside, Lucas noticed that apartment 405 had people inside of it already, all stationed on the balcony, soaking in the view. He made his way into the bedroom but before he could get an eyeful, a voice coming from the bathroom screamed out, “Lucas!”
“Hel..Hello, Will,” Lucas stuttered. “Wow! Kismet! Hey, how about that stair climb? Brutal.” Will said to him. Lucas blankly looked at Will and asked, “It was, uh, it was not that bad.” “I will tell you, the view from my place is just as good, but no elevator since it is a house.” Will said. “You see, I am trying to downsize because living there is getting tough. If I do not find a roommate soon, I am going to have to leave it behind. And Lucas, that place holds my heart and soul.”
“Where exactly do you live, and how much is your rent anyhow?” Lucas asked. “I am at 4411 Los Feliz Blvd. Now that Jason, my roommate is gone, I pay $1,500 a month for it,” Will said. “Impossible. It has to be trash.” Lucas responded. “You should swing by and take a look. It is nothing short of a delight, really. But yesterday painted me in a rather bad light, so I understand if you have no interest,” Will said.
Lucas looked at Will and then looked around the bedroom again. “I guess it would be alright to check it out, this apartment will cost me more than what you are paying now with my utilities included.” The two headed for the front door and when they reached the street, Will said loudly over traffic, “Just follow me, I am in that black Acura.”
The drive was quick and when they arrived, Will jumped out of his car and yelled, “Here, drive into the garage after me, it is two-car style.”
As Lucas parked, Will walked over and leaned into his open window. “Perfect fit”, he said softly, smiling as Lucas took his key out of the ignition.
Lucas started examining the garage as he followed Will to the side door that was connected to the house.
“Hey, I think you dropped this before you left,” Lucas said as he stopped and picked up a driver’s license, turning it right side up.
Lucas looked at the photograph on the laminated card and muttered, “Jason Cosgrove?”
Turning around and looking at Lucas, Will started to slowly walk towards him and whisper, “You see, Lucas, this place holds many hearts and souls, not just mine. I guess you should have been keen on watching the news. Kismet.”