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Our Love Story, Part IV
The weekend before my 21st birthday, I was finally able to move into my apartment. When I got a full scholarship to college, my dad told me he would build me an apartment over a 2-car garage (and build the garage for my mom). Now, most of the way through my junior year, it was done. It was so awesome! I had my own bathroom, walk-in closet with a stackable washer/dryer, bedroom, and a living space that included a kitchen and a place to sit and watch TV. Ed helped by putting up the stairs, helped put up the kitchen cabinets, and helped me paint.
On moving day, I picked up all of my belongings and carried them across the driveway to my new apartment. The next day, my brother Nathaniel, the proud new occupant of my former bedroom, was so kind as to throw anything I left behind out of the window and into his quad trailer, then promptly bring it to the dumpster at the farm market.
Besides the piles of clothes and books, I had very few possessions. Thinking back to how packed that apartment soon became, it was totally spacious when I first moved in… My furniture consisted of a computer chair, beach chair, and a coffee table that Ed built and gave me for Christmas, and a mattress from my parents in the bedroom. I bought a VCR at Walmart. I had one video tape: Jaws. I vividly remember inviting some of Ed’s friends over to my new apartment, sitting on my comforter on the floor and watching Jaws. I also remember sitting on the floor at the coffee table with colored pencils, watching a show about reptiles on the Discovery Channel, and making insanely complicated graphs of data for my Animal Physiology class. I guess it was before I knew how to graph on excel, and before professors expected you to actually make a graph on the computer.
I loved the privacy of the apartment, the fact that I could do my homework and study without listening to stories about football or tractors. I loved that I could watch TV with Ed without talking to moms (his or mine). I accumulated furniture quickly: my parents bought me a couch, then a kitchen table and chairs. I started to learn to cook by watching cooking shows. I started getting interested in buying plates and kitchen gadgets, and I made regular trips to the grocery store to stock my fridge. My brothers visited often, and I went to my family’s house, too. But when the sun went down and everyone else went home, I was lonely.
To celebrate my birthday, I had the dorkiest 21st birthday party ever. See, the thing is, I don’t drink. I never have. So my parents, brothers, Ed, and Ed’s parents took me out to a Chinese buffet for my birthday, where I ate lots of orange chicken and drank diet soda. We went back to my parents’ house and had ice cream cake. What a wild 21st birthday party!
One weekend, Ed’s parents went to Maine. They agreed to let a friend’s guests from out of town stay in their house while they were gone, and Ed wasn’t about to stay there with strangers. We decided he would stay with me for the weekend. It wasn’t a conscious decision for Ed to move in with me, but after that weekend, it became our apartment. I had officially lived by myself for two weeks.