I was soooo surprised when I got home from a food truck taste-testing circuit and saw my roommate tossing things into a suitcase. Trash and Garbage’s crates were on the floor too, which meant she was taking them with her…
“Oh,” she said when she heard my squeak of shock. “Guess now is as good a time as any to tell you–I’m moving out.”
I slowly walked up to her, as if walking realllly slow and quiet would stop her from running from me.
“But why?” I asked softly. “Don’t you like it here?”
“It’s fine. But I’m an actress now and actresses need to live in big fancy houses. Alone. Nothing personal.”
My eyes wandered to the floor, where Trash and Garbage were. I couldn’t imagine the apartment without them–or Galatea either…
Who else could I talk about Rhys Straud to, or ask to taste-test new recipes? Bas just wasn’t the same…
“What if we never see each other again?”
She laughed, but it didn’t sound like she meant it. “Doubt it. If we don’t arrange it, my dad or brother probably will.”
So she knew…was that why she was leaving? “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lie to you…I just wanted you to have a good time and have a nice place to stay and I really, really do like you and Trash and Garbage and you’re my favorite roommate ever and–”
“I know, Daisy. It’s not your fault at all. It’s mine, for being an idiot. I’m just not meant to be around other people.” She paused. “But you can visit whenever, since Trash and Garbage will miss you.”
I tried to help her pack her things after that, but I didn’t feel very useful.
Was there anything I could say to change her mind? I didn’t want to make her mad, or make her feel obligated to stay…and so for once, I kept my mouth shut.
Watching her go didn’t feel real. I thought we’d gotten sooo close in the past few months, like we’d be friends forever.
Maybe she was moving in with Bas and was too embarrassed to say anything…? Did people move in after one date?
But she didn’t even talk to me about the date either. All she said was that “the food sucked,” but she told me she got a salad when I kept asking about it, and of course the place Bas took her to wasn’t known for its salads…
Luckily, Bas called me right after I was thinking about calling him.
“I can’t believe she moved out,” I finally said, even though it was the first thing I wanted to talk about. “I wanted to be roommates forever and ever. Do you think Trash and Garbage will get homesick, or can you not get homesick when you get a new home? It’s probably really, really nice, and Galatea said I can visit them whenever I want…”
Bas’s “What?” sounded like he meant it, not like when Mom asked him or Dad if they left the toilet seat up or left their dirty underwear on the floor and they pretended they didn’t hear the first time.
So maybe she really was moving into a fancy actress house…alone, except for Trash and Garbage. It sounded so lonely.
The next day, I passed Finn in the hall between the coffee shop and the convenience store right below our apartments.
“I’m sooo sorry,” I said. “I should’ve tried harder to make her want to stay.”
“You’re not the one to blame,” he said. “It was my fault.”
It would’ve been funny that both Galatea and her big brother blamed themselves for her moving out, if it wasn’t so sad…
“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’m going to try to keep being her friend. No matter what.”
“I’m glad.” His next words were softer. “I’m sorry for getting you involved, but I’m grateful it was you.”
Even work felt lonelier after that. Rhys Straud was so busy with shooting that he didn’t come home much, but I kept practicing recipes for him anyway. Dru was gone too, though I wasn’t sure if she was with him or not.
But Leo was always nearby, and I was grateful. I wasn’t sure if he was being silly or doing special butler exercises, but it was nice to see him around the the house.
Sometimes it felt like he was in every room I was in…
But I tried really hard not to disturb him.
I didn’t mind when he watched me in the kitchen now–maybe I just got so used to him, or maybe I missed Galatea and Trash and Garbage way too much–but I was surprised when he actually talked to me.
“Ohmigosh, Leo, you can call me Daisy! We’re close enough for that now, aren’t we?”
“I…I suppose so. Ah, I’ve received word that my parents are discussing a possible visit to Starlight Shores, to visit the set of my sister’s show…”
“I didn’t know you had a sister. I always wanted one, even though I looove my big brother.”
“A younger sister–and a twin brother as well. Ahem–I was hoping you might like to meet my parents, should they visit…?”
“Oh, I’d love to!” I could recommend all the best restaurants in town, or maybe even cook for them… I wished Leo would try my recipes, but he was totally, completely sure that he didn’t want to, no matter what I made.
“I’m certain they’ll be delighted to meet you. Perhaps my mother will be marginally less delighted, but if I properly explain the circumstances beforehand…”
I carried on with my cooking. When Rhys Straud was home, he complained about the “abominable” options at craft services and swore he gained two ounces and was suffering from a “sensitive stomach,” so I wanted to be ready.
Leo watched me the whole time. It was funny how I bonded with someone I never expected to, even if I couldn’t bond with the person I tried my hardest with…