Chapter Thirteen

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I made my way down the stairs and noticed the handrail had been ripped off the wall and was now lying on the stairs. It must have had an unfortunate encounter with a drunk person stumbling home last night.

I knocked on Raashid's door.  

"Oh, hello," Raashid answered. 

"Hi, Raashid. I'm sorry to bother you, but you mentioned there was another apartment available and I was wondering if I could take a look at it please?" I said, like a man who was on a mission. 

"Oh sure, no problem. The tenants moved out this morning. Don't go anywhere; I will be right back with the key." Raashid scurried off into his lair. A few moments later he came back. "Okay, here you go. The unit number is 2E." 

"Thanks, Raashid," I said as I ran back upstairs to check out the other apartment. 

I inserted the key into 2E. It was on the opposite side of the hall so I knew it would not be facing the alley. When I opened the door, I felt the warmth of the sun immediately. The place was bright and the view was much better too. I stood at the window and was now overlooking a beautiful park. I guess I didn't really learn to appreciate trees and greenery until I no longer had it.  

Things were starting to look better already. The place was similar to the first one, it had the same thick orange shag carpet, same fixtures, but this suite had two bedrooms. I didn't really consider how much extra the rent would be, but with the extra bedroom I could always get a roommate to make the rent cheaper for me. 

I went back to the first apartment and slowly dragged all my stuff down the hall and into my new place. I arranged the few pieces of furniture I had and organized my kitchen and bedroom. I spent a few hours tidying and cleaning, disinfecting all the counters, light switches, and doorknobs. After all that was done, I tackled the bathroom. 

As I emptied the last of my things out of one of the boxes, a card fell out and onto the floor. I picked it up and opened it.  

Dear Trevor  

Thanks again for spending time with me and showing me around. If you are ever in Vancouver, give me a call and I can return the favor. Love Ashley. 

"Oh my god," I said aloud. I hadn't seen this card since I lived in Banff. I didn't even know that I still had it. I had completely forgotten that Ashley lived in Vancouver.  

I quickly grabbed my cell phone and dialed the number she had left. After a few rings, a voice came on. "This is Ashley, leave a message." 

*** 

My apartment was entirely clean. Now what? There was no sense in being cooped up in the apartment all day and I still needed to figure out how to make money. I needed to rebuild my life, and getting the new apartment was just the first step. 

I put my shoes on and locked up my apartment. When I got outside, the sun was shining brightly; I had to squint until my eyes adjusted. I felt the warm breeze against my face and I took a deep breath of the summer air. Like Superman, I felt like the yellow sun gave me strength. I set off down the street with no particular destination in mind. I just needed to clear my head and gather my thoughts.  

I had a million thoughts racing through my mind as I walked around exploring my new neighborhood. The neighborhood was like any other, there were restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, and of course a laundromat. I came across an internet café and sat down at a computer.  

My next order of business was to get a job. Over the next couple of hours I typed out a résumé and emailed it to a dozen or so companies. I wasn't really sure what I was looking for, but given my situation, I was willing to do pretty much anything. I applied mainly to clothing stores, hotels, and restaurants. I then emailed my résumé to myself so I wouldn't have to retype it. I printed off another dozen résumés to take with me, and I left.  

It was around 4:30 p.m. and I wanted to swing by the grocery store and buy some essentials. I picked up a package of hot dogs, some soap, toilet paper, some instant noodle soup, and a small pot. 

I paid for the groceries and walked outside. I could feel my phone vibrate, but my hands were full. I put the bags down and quickly flipped open my phone.

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