Chapter Five

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It had been over a month since I moved in with Will and Bailey. The landlady made it very clear that I was not supposed to be staying there so I had to be a ghost for the next little while until I could get my own place. 

My job was going well, but leaving for work was always a challenge. The only door to go outside was located in between two sets of stairs, one leading downstairs to Will and Bailey's place and one leading upstairs to the grumpy landlady's place. At the top of her set of stairs was a door, which was always left open. She sat there at her command post and kept guard. It was nearly impossible to leave at any time during the day and avoid detection. If she was not sitting in her old kitchen chair at the top of the stairs, she kept watch out her front window.  

In order to slip under her radar, there were a series of steps that I needed to take. First I had to leave through the window in my room. Then I had to crouch low next to the house and walk underneath the large window in the front of the house. After that, I would continue around the back of the house and dart behind a stack of firewood piled near the edge of the small property. If I could pull all that off successfully, I had to run quickly to the street and then I was home free. The same tactics were needed to regain entry, although it was a little easier since I usually came home at night. Needless to say, I had to get my own place. 

As it turned out, the snowboard shop offered staff accommodation. I later learned this was unheard of anywhere else, but with so many transient workers, it was the norm in Banff. I applied for the last empty room in a house with four other guys and was approved to move in right away. 

The place was still a basement suite, but it was not nearly as nice as the one Will and Bailey were renting. There was no couch, no TV, no computer, no fireplace, no nice rugs, and it certainly did not have that cozy log cabin feel to it. The owners of the snowboard shop also owned a ski shop down the street on Banff Ave. I was the only guy from the snowboard shop living there, the rest of my new roommates worked at the ski shop.  

My roommates were a mixed bag of guys. McKay was a twenty-six year old happy-go-lucky type. Dave was twenty-two and was an all-around nice guy with very little real world experience. Rob was twenty-four and was the quintessential heavy-drinker party-animal type. Then there was Brendan, a twenty-eight year old avid outdoorsman.  

A few weeks after I moved in with these guys, Will found out his mother was ill. Almost instantly, Will and Bailey packed up all their things, and left.  

Without the support of Will and Bailey, I was completely on my own. Like riding a bike for the first time without the training wheels, I was apprehensive at first because I wasn't sure if I could continue to ride smoothly. Even though I was making it on my own, I never removed the thought that I could always move back in with my parents if things didn't work out. I counted the days, weeks, and then months from the time I moved away from home. Each month that passed represented one more month that I was 'making it' on my own. I was determined to show my parents I was independent and did not need their help. Most importantly, I needed to prove to myself I had what it took to survive in the real world, even if it was just in a small town.

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