A Room for My Pretend Love

The Proposal

After taking a quick shower, Suki decided to borrow Devin’s shirt for a while longer because she only had the skimpy dress she wore to the club. It was a baggy t-shirt with the name of a prestigious university printed across the chest. The hem reached the top of her knees so she felt decent enough wearing it.

Then, she made her way down to the dining room. Devin said that he had made her breakfast. That sparked her curiosity. As far she knew, men didn’t cook or at least her father didn’t.

A grin tickled her lips when she saw a plate on the table with a slice of avocado toast and poached egg on top. There was also a bowl of fresh fruits. It was not the type of breakfast that she had imagined a man would make. That pleased her somehow because her notions of what men were like were not particularly stellar.

Just as he had said, there was also an iPad with a sticky note that said,

Use me. I don’t have a password. 🙂

P.S. Just get anything you want from the fridge.

– D.

Suki got herself a glass of water from the dispenser and sat on a chair at the dining table. There, she was once again entertained by the city view. In the morning, the glint of sunlight as it bounced off tall skyscrapers had replaced the fairy lights. Everything seemed to shimmer against a backdrop of blue skies and wispy white clouds.

She gave herself a pep talk while eating some fruit and getting to work on the iPad. “Surely nothing can go wrong on a day like this.”

First, she took stock of her money. She had some savings from her job, but most of that would be spent paying the morgue for her parents’ cremation. Tears prickled the corner of her eyes, but she didn’t let them fall. Right now, there was no time for sentimentalities. She went back to the iPad and started searching for apartments online.

After browsing through various websites, she found out that the only way she could afford rent was if she shared a place with other people farther away from the city center. That would mean commuting at least one hour and thirty minutes to work and taking the same time to go back.

“That’s a long commute,” she groaned. But what other options did she have?

She found a notepad next to the fridge and wrote down the listings that were of interest. She also needed to buy a cheaper phone to set appointments and use for work. She groaned again and dropped her head on the table wondering if she would have enough money to eat until the end of the month.

“Woah! Looks like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

Suki whipped her body back so hard at the sudden sound of his voice, she had to hold on to the table to keep her balance. Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t hear him come in.

“Oh! You’re back,” she said as she scrambled to clean up the dirty dishes that were still on the table. “Sorry, I didn’t realize that it’s already been an hour. I’ll wash these.”

Devin walked towards her and took the dishes from her. “Don’t worry, relax! Just do your thing and I’ll take care of these.”

“But you already made me breakfast. It’s only right that I do the dishes,” Suki said as she followed him to the kitchen.

“We can let the dishwasher do the work, okay?” He rinsed the crockery then put them in the dishwasher. “See? Finished.”

She felt guilty about letting him do the work, but it was too late now. “Thanks, Devin,” she said in resignation.

“No big deal,” he replied while wiping his hands. “So, what’s wrong? You seemed dejected when I came in.”

She shrugged. “Oh, it’s nothing. Just sorting out some stuff.”

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