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   Chapter 6 Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident

Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident: Brownie Bk 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 15103

Updated: 2018-03-07 14:34

Chapter 6

"That would be lovely, " I said into the phone. "Yes, I think I can find it, thank you." I hung up, pleased with my efforts. Upon waking, I showered, took the needed care while dressing and then enjoyed the hotel's continental breakfast. Once clothed and fed, I began calling the apartment buildings I looked up previously, managing to arrange three showings before lunch time. In addition, my car survived the night unscathed, my belongings, such as they were, intact.

As I headed off to the first of my viewings, I wondered at the ease of acquiring them. Halfway through my first tour, I learned why. The first was timing. By this point in the year anyone looking for housing had already found it and settled into their semester. So apartment hunters were rare. The second was the location where I was looking. My preferred location was apparently a little too far from campus for most students to think it prime, but too close to campus for the city's more permanent residents. It was a thin band of the city that didn't fit comfortably into either the local or student categories. While the first two buildings didn't particularly thrill me, the third seemed to fit what I was looking for.

It was slightly down at the heels in appearance and not particularly trendy. It was well maintained, but nothing looked new. Most of the residents I saw appeared to be more or less in their mid to late twenties. Even though there weren't many residents walking around at this time of day, the office manager confirmed my impression. She also assured me that even though several of the residents had attended or were currently attending the University, given the current job market many of them were working low entry level jobs if they had managed to find something in their field at all.

The apartment had seen better days, but the combined living room dining room area was rather spacious and the kitchen was functional, even if the appliances weren't new. In one of the closets I even had my own stacked washer and dryer which was something new for me. In addition, the rent was low enough that I felt comfortable looking at a two bedroom apartment. Not only would it give me one full room to set up as my sewing room, but I knew that if Swift were looking, he would concentrate on efficiencies and one bedrooms.

The carpet was an industrial gray that looked more like it belonged in an office than an apartment, but it didn't have any overly noticeable stains so I figured after vacuuming, I could pick up throw rugs to go over them, camouflaging the industrial with something of my choosing. The walls were a strange yellowed white color. I raised my hand to the wall wondering if the previous tenant had been a smoker.

Nicole, the office manager smiled at me. "As long as you paint it white when you leave, management doesn't care if paint the walls." She told me. The thought of painting the walls any color I chose was quite appealing. I nodded and let my hand drop, taking one more look around. Despite the age and the industrial look, the apartment was bright with sunlight streaming in the large windows, even if the view was only of the parking lot. Oddly there was a small stand of trees at one end of the parking lot. I wondered if it was someone's small attempt to include a green space. With no furniture and the ability to paint the walls, the apartment was an empty canvas. I smiled and decided to see if I could lease the apartment.

Back in the office, the application process was easy, even if I did have to check several of the details before writing them down. I paid the fifty dollar application fee and was told they would be notifying me when everything was checked. As the process could take anywhere from 2 hours to twenty four, we shook hands and I left the office. Feeling extremely nervous, I returned to the hotel room. I paced for a bit worrying about the quality of Avery's work. Had he been thorough? Would I pass inspection?

I thought about pulling my stuff from the car, thinking they might reject my application and I might need to stay in the hotel for a while. I then thought that I better leave my stuff in the car uncase the office manager called the police on me for using a fake ID to try to rent an apartment. I turned on the television. After a minute of flipping channels, I turned off the television. I nibbled at the items in Mrs. Avery's basket. I paced some more and wondered if the person in the hotel room on the floor below would co


I put the groceries in the fridge and moved the sheets, pillows, comforter and towels into the bedroom. It still left a surprisingly large pile of goods in the living room. They were heaped at Martha's feet like bizarre offerings to a strange goddess. "Obviously, I went insane."

I was distracted from thoughts of my sanity, or lack thereof, by a knock on the door. My heart nearly stopped and I almost tiptoed to the door to look through the peephole. Instead of a waiting Swift, I spotted three people I didn't know standing on my doorstep; two men and a woman. I cautiously opened the door.

"Hello, " I said to the trio.

Hi, " the woman said. "I'm Crista and this is my boyfriend Matt. We live across the hall." She gestured to her door and I glanced at the number. 230.

"Marketing and computers?" I said. The third man laughed.

"Nicole and her number system strikes again. I'm Noah, 229."

"Hair, " I said with a smile.

"Very good, " Noah replied. Although I prefer stylist extraordinaire."

"I'll try to remember that, " I replied. "I would be Bonnie Brown, " I said, the name still sounding strange to my ears. I opened the door wider. "You are welcome to come in, although with the exception of the floor, I've got no seats to offer you. Rather than drive cross country with a big moving van, I sold most of the furniture before I left."

The trio came in and Noah smiled at the sight of Martha. "Let me guess, 231 is a dressmaker?"

I laughed. "Guilty, " I told him. "I'm getting my application for school together so I can study fashion design, but I do tailoring work and dress making. Or did anyway, I'll need to look for work here of course."

"Really?" Noah said. "I have a friend you might want to meet. How do you feel about designing for drag queens?"

I blinked in surprise. "Well, they would need to have their padding in place so I could take appropriate measurements, " I told him. I gestured towards the headless dummy. "Martha here is my size so I'd need to make some adjustments. I also need to find a fabric store and get some supplies."

"Excellent, " Noah said. "In that case I have several friends I want you to meet."

"Before Noah swamps you with ball gown repairs and couture knock off requests, " Crista said shaking her head. "We were going to order pizza and wanted to know if you wanted to join us. That way you don't have to run around finding dishes and things on your first night."

"And we have chairs, " Matt added with a grin.

"Chairs while eating, " I said fluttering a hand to my heart. "My goodness how civilized. I'd like that. Thanks." Crista and Matt's apartment was chosen for dinner and I picked up my keys and followed them back to their place while Matt and Noah discussed toppings. I smiled to myself as I locked my front door. I had an apartment of my own and was on my way to making new friends. "Add that to the no one is trying to kill me list and my world is looking pretty good, " I decided.

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