Chapter 1 - Search
Somewhere in the middle of April, Sarah’s new roommate moves in. The thing is, she doesn’t really want a new one, so she’s not that pleased about it. She and Jack had gotten along perfectly: Sarah’s clean and organized and likes things a certain way, and Jack had rolled with it, been happy to follow her lead. Unfortunately, Jack then left mid-degree on a free-spirited whim to go on a year-long backpacking trip in Southeast Asia, leaving Sarah with a two-bedroom apartment in Canary Wharf that’s nice enough for her to feel safe, but not cheap enough for her to live in by herself, even with her parents’ support.
They have the money - her father is a well-known and respected pathologist and professor at Oxford. For better or for worse, he and Sarah’s mother have always pressed the virtues of hard work, earning your place, paying your own way. They’ve helped out, of course - it’s definitely a nicer apartment than a twenty-four year old should have - but it’s not so nice that she can’t pay to keep it, so long as she has a roommate. Sarah respects her parents’ efforts for their daughters to not end up spoiled rich children, despite their unavoidable privilege. As a logical person, she knows it’s better for her in every way that she acknowledges it and goes her own way, as Stevie Nicks would say, but there are definitely times when she’s on the subway home from her part-time serving job, only to have to write a paper into the wee hours once she gets there, that she wishes they were a little looser.
Sarah knows she should be mad about Jack leaving, probably - they’d agreed to live together throughout all of her studies, not three-quarters of it - but truly, she can’t be. It’s the sort of thing Sarah likes the idea of doing if she were a different person entirely, someone without twenty-four years of deep-seated anxiety and perfectionism and high expectations drilled into her. The world needs people like Jack to follow their hearts just as much as it needs people like Sarah to rigidly follow their five-year plans.
Still, the new roommate thing is troublesome. Sarah doesn’t want to teach somebody new her methods. On the upside, finding one isn’t difficult. Because of her parents’ support, the rent on the apartment is fairly reasonable, and she can be a little choosy.
So it’s remarkable that even with that flexibility, she ends up with Lucas.
Lucas isn’t a total stranger - he’s an old friend of her college buddy John, who had vouched for him. She trusts John implicitly; he’s just as particular as she is, albeit in different ways, and he’d assured her that Lucas was both amiable and useful to have around.
Sarah can see that; she’d met Lucas a couple of times before. He dressed like a fisherman and she knew he worked construction so it was clear that he was going to be good at all of the practical things that she wasn’t. She’d known immediately that they were incredibly different people, but he was charming in an easy way, and he even seemed to like her well enough - not always a guarantee with what she knew was her sometimes prickly personality. Still, he’ll hopefully fix the A/C before summer starts.
Besides, the middle of the month is a somewhat odd time to be looking for a roommate. So he’s in.