“You’re right. Let’s get to work. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can get out of this apartment.”
We work for the next few hours, packing up the few things I want to take back to Devin’s. There’s only a couple of things I’m not sure what to do with and I label them for Grams’ storage unit in her building.
A little later my phone chimes again with another text from Devin.
“Your whole face lights up when he texts. It’s adorable,” Jenna says, and I bite my lip, trying not to blush.
I’m an excited schoolgirl and he’s my first crush. Although this is a whole lot bigger than a crush because he’s going to be my first everything.
“I’m in love with him,” I admit.
“Trust me, I already know without you having to say it.”
“Crap.” I see the time, realizing I’m late. “I have to go to the front office. I’m meeting the landlord.”
“Go, I’ve got this.” She waves me off.
I jog over to the main building and knock on the closed door.
“Come in,” Charles calls from the other side of the door. I push it open to see him sitting behind his desk smoking a cigar with his feet kicked up.
“Hi Charles.” I step into his office, trying not to cough because of the smoke. He drops his feet down from his desk and puts out his cigar before motioning for me to sit down in the chair.
“So the damage on your place.” He looks irritated.
“The insurance is going to pay for it.”
“Oh, well, that’s good.”
“I sent them the pictures and everything else they asked for. They said they’d be in touch with you soon.”
“Good.” He starts to pick his cigar back up, but I hold up my hand with more to say.
“I need to see about my lease too. I’m moving out.”
“You want to break it?” He knows I do because he brought it up once before.
“I don’t feel safe here. Someone got into my place with a key.”
The only other person who has a key is the landlord and I don’t think he did this. What’s the point of destroying your own property? I do think he might be responsible for someone having access to his keys, but I have no way of proving that.
“I gave you a list of alarm companies.” He opens up a drawer, pulling out a bunch of pamphlets.
“Whoever broke into my place had a key,” I remind him.
“You should be more careful with your keys then.”
Anger flares inside of me, but I get it under control. Getting mad isn’t going to get me anywhere.
“I’ve had the same key since I moved in.”
“Clearly not.” He shrugs dismissively.
“I’m not going to fight with you about this. I want to break my lease.” I stand up from my chair because this isn’t a debate.
“There’s a fee.”
Of course there is. “How much?”
“Three months’ rent and you lose your deposit.”
I gape at him. “I might as well keep the apartment until the lease is up.”
“You can do whatever you want.” He’s got a smug look on his face like he knows he’s won.
“But you could rent it to someone else right after I move out.” He would end up making double off my apartment.
“I already have to find someone for the place across from yours. Who knows how long it will take me?”
“Peter moved out?”
“A few days ago. Something about a new job.”
I could have sworn I saw him at Devin’s office. I told myself that was impossible, but maybe it wasn’t. It’s a small world, but not that small.
“Break the lease,” I say, because what else can I do? I’m not staying here, and even though it’s going to take the rest of my savings, it has to be done.
“Don’t give me that sad look. I’m not running a charity here.” I didn’t give him any look; I think that’s his own guilt.
“Email me the details. I want a copy of the lease I signed and all paperwork you have on breaking the lease,” I say before getting up and opening the door.
“Why do you need all that?”
“I’m going to have my lawyer look it over.” I give him the biggest smile I can muster before I walk out and the door closes behind me. That felt good to say even though Devin might not find anything that can get me out of it.
When I get back to my apartment, the movers are carrying out the last of the boxes. “Wow.” I look around the empty space that I’m not going to miss. I never got attached to it and it never felt like home. It’s crazy how quickly Devin’s has become that for me.
“We knocked it out in no time.” Jenna looks proud of herself as she holds her hand up for a high-five.