While writing my first novel, I’ve been doing writing exercises to keep my brain working while I can’t figure out what I want my other characters to be doing. Along came Jess who I ended up writing. I wanted to share what I came up with you all to see what you thought of Jess’s situation and to see if you would like to know more. Take a read and leave me some honest feedback.
Jess knew that she needed a change. She was done fighting with her parents about everything, and nothing that she did was ever good enough so the only remedy for that was to leave. She had to “fly the coup,” so to speak. One less bird in the nest was exactly what they needed, so she crunched the numbers from the job she was working and found a place that would accommodate her budget and her needs.
Fresh fish, just one semester into college, working full-time and going to school full – time, and now she was going to try and swing living solo on her modest salary. Sure, as a young student with limited experience she was making decent money. That was due to the fact that she was efficient, she could recall facts quickly, and there wasn’t anything that she couldn’t learn…well, just about anything. She was definitely afraid about living alone for the first time in her life.
Jess called the number for the little bungalow style home to speak with the leasing agent. The home was gorgeous, and it was a steal. 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom for $650 a month. She could definitely swing that, plus her few bills. She didn’t need any extra extravagances and maybe she would get lucky to get some second-hand furniture to fill her space. The house had a stove, refrigerator, and a microwave – the main appliances she would not be able to afford. The home was all electric, so all she would need to pay was rent and utilities. She’d been saving money since her first job at 14, so she had a comfortable little savings for now and she wanted to make sure that she didn’t blow it. After speaking with the agent, Amanda they made an appointment to view the home in person for the following day.
When Amanda arrived at the house she was instantly blown away. It was the perfect pale blue color with white shutters. The yard was immaculate, and the landscaping was simple, but perfect because it didn’t look like it required much maintenance. Upon entering, there were original hardwood floors, exposed beams, and the space was intimate without being claustrophobic. Jess knew this was her home for the foreseeable future, she just had to convince the agent she would be able to pay her rent, she was responsible, she wasn’t some party girl, and she was on a mission to work and finish school within her designated time frame. This was the fresh start that she needed. Amanda, the leasing agent gave Jess the documentation she needed to be considered for the home and told her that it would take a day or so to get an answer. Jess was curious why such a beautiful home was so cheap, not that she was complaining. Amanda explained the owners were an older couple that met at the university and purchased the home after graduating. They lived there during their grad studies and until they moved away. They kept the house and thought of it as a way of paying it forward by renting it out to other university students that they vetted for a reasonable price. They now lived somewhere up north enjoying time with their grandchildren and retirement.
As they were leaving, Jess noticed a car pull into the house across the street. Would she have time to get to know her neighbors if she moved into this house? Were they going to be nice people? She stood there for a minute contemplating that thought as Amanda drove off, that’s when she heard the car door slam. The noise took Jess out of her trance and she looked up, when she did, she saw him, and he saw her. Her face felt flush and heat built up inside her that she couldn’t explain. It was unseasonably warm for October, but this was more than weather related. He was standing there with his backpack draped across his back looking at her, and she stood there stuck – unable to move an inch. He gave her this cocky, half smile and a wave, stood there and looked a little while longer, then he went inside the house. Jess was intrigued now, and she knew at this point…she had to get this house for more than its charm, it also had a killer view.
Jess hurriedly jumped into her little hatchback and sped off. Who was this potential neighbor and what was his story? He was carrying a backpack, was he a student. She didn’t recall seeing him on campus, but you don’t see everyone on campus. This guy, she knew she would have remembered seeing. He was sexy. She couldn’t recall anyone who could wear a pair of jeans the way he did. His skin was smooth and golden brown, and for some reason she could imagine her hands exploring his face, his arms, his chest…what in the world was happening to her? She needed to focus. She needed to head to the library, get this paperwork done ASAP, and get everything back to Amanda before 3 because she needed to know if the house was hers soon. Her parents and her siblings were driving her crazy, and she didn’t need the stress of anyone messing with her timetable.
Jess made it to the library and made sure all her references were in order, her application was complete, and her paystubs and bank statements were in order for Amanda. She faxed everything off and said a little prayer that she’d be moving into her new place very soon. No one in her family would understand her decision, especially after everything that had happened, but it wasn’t up to them. It was her decision to make alone, no one else’s and they would have to be fine with it no matter what. Jess gathered all of her things to make it to her parent’s house because that is the way she was going to see the home that she had lived in for the last 19 years – her parent’s home. She had this innate feeling that this house was hers, she just couldn’t explain how she knew. Halfway to her parents, her phone rang. The prefix of the number was one she didn’t recognize. She answered it just in case it was someone calling regarding the house. It had only been about 30 minutes since she had sent in the information for the application, but confidence was key in making sure she got this house. Jess answered the phone, surprised to find it was the actual owners of the house calling. They wanted to personally interview her because they said they were impressed with her application and work ethic. She was also going to school for architecture and design which is what they both studied. They had built their own firm and passed it down to their daughter. The Wilson’s, that was their name, wanted to let Jess know personally that they felt she was the perfect fit for their home and wished her well with her studies. They also offered to help her with anything concerning her studies, and to bypass the management company if she had any problem making her rent. They were a really nice couple, and she got her house.
Jess headed over to tell her parent’s the news, and to begin packing the little things she did own to take to her new home. Finger’s crossed they would let her take her bed. The twins could move out with each other and a twin bed in the room she occupied would allow a lot of space because her bed was a queen. The bedroom at the bungalow was a nice size and would easily accommodate all the furniture with room to spare. Jess finally felt a sense of empowerment. Things were going her way for once, and if her parents were going to be judges of her choices, then she and her choices were going to be comfortable across town in that beautiful bungalow – trying to find out more about her mysterious neighbor. Oh gawd, he was officially her neighbor now, she assumed. He did pull up to the house and go into it with a key. What if he was just house-sitting? Jess would soon find out, because it was something about the way he made her feel from afar that made her want to get even closer to see if those feelings would become more intense.
Jess arrived at her parent’s home to inform them that she had rented her own place and would be moving out immediately. Of course, their reactions were what she expected. You can’t live alone, you are a woman by yourself and safety, blah, blah, blah. What her parents didn’t know was that after the “incident” she had taken a self-defense class and gotten her concealed handgun’s license. She of course carried her pepper spray and a taser, but her gun was for when she was out late at night and now it would stay in her nightstand just in case. They didn’t have to know everything. Her parents decided against fighting a losing battle and congratulated her. Jess’s dad said that he would bring her bed over to the new house tomorrow which was perfect because she wouldn’t be able to meet Amanda until in the morning before work to get her keys. Jess was excited, and she knew sleep would be evasive because of the mysterious backpack wielding guy across the street.
More to come…