House of Humiliation

I just got back from viewing a house as a prospect for not being homeless during my second year at university. It’s a wonderful house, with lots of light, lots of space and is very clean. It is in the same area as I currently reside, just one street away, so I know the place and feel secure. They house even has a garden with strawberries my favourite fruit! Can I say I love it before I even know if it’s mine. 

I got to the house at 4:30 on the dot, racked with nerves. I had no idea who it was I was going to be greeted by, could have been a serial killer for all I knew, and knocked on the door. First I knocked using the knocker that was down by the letter-box, but then I saw that there was a doorbell. Did they hear the knocker? Should I ring the doorbell ten seconds later? 

I rang the doorbell. 

There was footsteps. 

Oh my goodness! I thought I’m scared. And I tried to shake away the deer-in-the-headlights look. They’re ECOLOGY students, they’re not going to be serial killers! And then the door opened. There stood a woman, who was very pretty and I went blank. How am I meant to act!?

“Hello!” she said, very cheery with a mega-watt smile. 

“Hello!” I cheered back, and stumbled through the door. It was just as I tripped that I realised I really should have introduced myself first before trying to get into the house. Luckily I’m not a vampire (though my nocturnal-ism could say otherwise) so I didn’t burst into flames as I stepped beyond the threshold, but now I looked like a fool. looked like the serial killer. She asked if I was Sophie, and I said yes and shook her hand. And then she showed me around. 

I think I liked the house the second I turned down the street, it sort of reminded me of streets I can find back home in Norfolk with terraces made of old brick. The second I saw the hallway I loved it even more because it was HUGE and airy. 

My mind screamed “I’ll take the house now!” But of course it would be stupid when you haven’t seen the room. 

The woman showed me to the lounge and it was cosy, the sofas were small and TV was…minimalist, but I don’t watch much TV anyway so I wasn’t that bothered. Then she showed me the room, and it felt homely. The place I’m living in right now constantly feels like a hotel more than anything. There was lots of storage space and lots of space in general. Not as much space as my current room, but none of it was unnecessary. 

“The only thing that wasn’t here before is the bedside table, so you’ll need to buy one if you want one.” I don’t need a bedside table, I don’t think I’ve ever actually used a bedside table. There was a hand drawn picture of a zebra on the wall. 

And then I was shown the kitchen, which was lovely, with light pouring in from all the windows and doors that led to the garden with the strawberries. I savoured the thought of having such a large kitchen between five people and not twelve and not having all the flatmates use my stuff and not wash it, or lose it. CAN I MOVE IN NOW!? 

She took me upstairs to show me the bathroom and I had to stop myself from going into all the bedrooms and satisfying my nosey curiosity. It’s hard to resist a good snoop, even the people on Come Dine With Me can’t manage it. 

And then it was the garden and I looked for the strawberries and found the strawberries and there wasn’t a spider in sight. Hooray! I was told that everyone took shares in the gardening. That’s all right, I can dig. I am an archaeologist and my trowel will come in handy. I was led back into the house and we talked about the costs. The most it’s ever came to is about £20 for the person I was talking to, but she hadn’t been here long and said it might be more in winter. I figured it was fine, step-dad can help a little bit, right? She asked about my interests. 

And then I heard more footsteps and I was faced with another person, fresh from the shower but thankfully wearing clothes and I tried not to sound nervous in front of these people which was easy, because I can act and all I had to do was smile. The girl talked about how most of her classes are in the agriculture building for a little bit. 

“I had a lecture in the agriculture building on my first week, I got lost and called my friend saying ‘help me, where is it?’ and she told me to take a turn at the bridge, but there were four turns and I didn’t know what to take, so I went down them all and was forty minutes late when I decided to give up.” I narrated to her, thinking it would be a good story, but like a lot of my stories that I think are going to be funny, and trailed off when I realised it wasn’t. As lovely as the woman is a part of me said ‘thank goodness I’m not living with her, i’m making such a fool of myself!’ 

I was asked if I had any questions and I drew a blank. Was I supposed to ask questions. I feel like I should, like I do when they say that phrase in classes and lectures, there’s a pressure to come up with something great. But for some reason I didn’t think “how often do spiders come into the room” seemed like a ridiculous thing to ask, so I left it and shook my head. 

I was seen out of the door and wasn’t quite sure how to say goodbye. If I am interested in the room I need to e-mail, but I’m acting like it’s just been a date and I need to play it cool, hard to get, and am stopping myself from saying “LET ME LIVE HERE I’M DESPERATE!” at least until tomorrow. If I want it I’d have to come back and meet the other people. Oh dear. I do not do well with talking. But maybe, hopefully, I can prepare myself to be less humiliating to myself and not stumble through the doorway again. 

Deep breaths.

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