We had to move a lot of stuff around. I relinquished my office to make room for River. My desk filing cabinets and lights went into a corner of the living room to make space for whatever Tom’s brother might have brought with him. My private sanctuary was gone, but I endured it because River was helping us more than he likely knew.
“This is a bad idea,” I argued while Tom and I stood in the empty room that was my office only two days prior.
“This is a chance for you to get to know my brother,” he said.
“Your brother hates me.”
“He doesn’t hate you. He hates what we did.”
Tom’s brother was on his way from Oklahoma. In a matter of hours, our apartment wouldn’t be “our” apartment anymore. To make matters worse, Tom had to go to work, so it was on me to greet River when he arrived.
River was nothing like Meat Head. Maybe they shared genetics, but Tom was better, in my opinion. I couldn’t stand overly confident people; they exuded arrogance and bravado. River was no different when he arrived.
I tried to be welcoming, but his attitude put me off.
“This is where I’m sleeping,” he said, standing in what should have been my office while I brought bags of his stuff inside from the car.
He’d seen the room before; it wasn’t a surprise.
“Is something wrong,” I asked.
“No, not at all. Just thinking of how I’ll make everything fit,” he remarked.
It wasn’t that small. We could have put him on the couch. We should have put him on the sofa. If it weren’t for me, Tom would have put him on the couch. Not even ten minutes in, and already we were off to a bad start.
At least I thought we were until River said, it’ll be good to know you.”
It caught me off guard.
“My brother likes you, and I’m curious to see why,” he added.
“There’s nothing special about me, ” I joked and self-deprecated like a pro.
“I’m sure that’s not true,” River said before walking back outside to get the rest of his stuff.