Hey guys, this is the first chapter of a new story I am working on.
I am putting a trigger warning in here, the protagonist of this story is dealing with an abusive alcoholic mother and the story is about the protagonists first time moving away from home. Not every chapter will deal with this but I will put a trigger warning at the beginning of chapters that do.
All criticism and feed back is welcomed and encouraged.
Digs Chapter 1
Inner city bus travel at rush hour, how do people do this everyday. Ten past five on a Thursday evening and here I am crammed on to a Dublin bus, the air is stale and thick, the windows are fogged with condensation and I’m surrounded by the rancid b.o of soulless working drones finished their shift for the day. If I don’t find a place to live this could be me for the next four years in college. That would be a fate worse than death, at least death is final, it’s absolute, it’s end. This commute, which is the same in the morning just minus the b.o, it never ends, it keeps going even after I cease to exist people will still be crammed onto this bus, miserably commuting to work, college or something else. I had to find a place to live.
That is why I am on the bus to begin with, trying to nail down a place to live in or near enough to the city centre that I would be able to walk to Trinity College Dublin where, if everything goes according to plan I will be studying for the next four years. I have spent the last month trying to nail down accommodation, my overbearing mother does not want me living on campus yet or in an apartment on my own, she really is not keen on me to move out yet but she agreed that if I could find digs that she would begrudgingly let me move out. I need to learn to stand on my own two feet, I’m 18 after all if I want to move out I can, but it’s not a hill I want to die on right now. Rent in Dublin is insane and I would need to have six or seven room mates to be able to afford a place, I would probably need two jobs to support myself which I don’t think would leave loads of space for college so realistically I would be looking at digs anyway. So it was definitely not worth having a fight over.
So digs is what I’m looking for, and for those not in the know digs is essentially renting a room in someones house, but it seems to be designed for students as your rent also includes board, so meals get covered in the rent. Its essentially like living at home, just with someone else’s parents, you still have rules, need to do chores and more than likely have a curfew. You don’t have to come home but if you are you have to be home by a certain time, and you also have to let the parents know you won’t be home. Since you are essentially inserting yourself into someone elses family the process is a bit longer than trying to rent an apartment. Sure you have the viewing but you also have a sort of interview with the family, to see if it will be a good match and so far I have not found a good match. Either I have not liked the vibe from the family, sometimes it’s a pervy look from a son, or a mother that seems too strict, sometimes the area is just to far out or run down, a couple I didn’t like the room. Then there is also my own personal elephant that follows me into every interview, my bed wetting. Something that I should be able to keep private, but my mother said I had to tell them in the interview or else it would affect me with the housing agency if it was found out after I signed the contract and would be a bigger administration nightmare for me than a bit of embarrassment and a lot of rejection. When ever the question of if I had any special needs that the family would need to be aware of and my bedwetting came up it was always a thanks but no thanks response. So not only the embarrassment of having to tell strangers I still pissed the bed but also the rejection and stress of not getting a room to rent all at the same time. If this commute wasn’t so gross I would have resigned myself to living at home for college by now. Well this is my last chance really, most places have been snatched up now anyway and the agency hasn’t come back to me with any new viewings, so crap now that I think of it this might be my last chance of getting a place.
This realization of my situation shot waves of panic through me but luckily before the anxiety got to set in, the display board flashed Stoneybatter next stop, which happened to be my stop so I needed to jump into action. I picked up my back pack and squeezed through the crowded bus, pushing the stop button on my way to the door. I made it to the door just as the bus pulled upto the bus stop and jumped out as the doors opened taking a deep breath of fresh clean air as my feet hit the pavement. I could feel sweat forming on my brow and realized how tense I had been during the bus trip as my upper back and shoulders ached from tension. I took another deep breath and surveyed my location. Stoney batter was just off of Dublin quays which was pretty much the city centre, it was moderately built up but was from a bygone era, the street was paved with cobbles, while on the main street all the buildings were from the drab 70’s each side street was crammed with redbrick Georgian buildings. I was standing right outside a news agents so decided to buy myself a chocolate bar and a can of minerals to steady the nerves caused by that accursed bus journey. Before I went into the shop I checked my phone and I still had 20 minutes before I was due for the viewing. I sighed with relief as I wouldn’t have to rush, the house was a five minute walk from my current location according to the directions given to me by the agency, and along with Google maps, just to be sure. When I got into the shop I noticed they had a small off license which got the cogs turning and I decided to pick up a bottle of white and some 7 up for later tonight.
I had gone on many trips to France and other parts of mainland Europe when I was growing up to visit family, my gran was one of my best friends and I always loved spending two weeks during the summer with her as I got to visit long lost relatives, well not really lost relatives but ones I never really saw. Since I was about twelve my gran would let me have wine with my meals while on these holidays, like my cousins would, mind you it was always heavily watered down with lemonade but it was always a nice treat. And even though I was now of the legal drinking age and was experimenting with deferent drinks, white wine with some lemonade was still my favorite and was always just what the doctor ordered when it came being relaxed and calm. I would need to text Abbey later to see if she wanted to hang out but for now, I had made the preparations.
After I had bought my bit’s n pieces I left the shop and quickly put the bottle of wine and 7-up in my back pack, and I stress I did this quickly. I had picked up a bag of goodnights in the afternoon as I was running low at home and knew I wouldn’t want to have to hang about after my last viewing so had decided to get it out of the way in between interviews. I zipped up my bag, checked the directions once more and headed towards my potential room while cracking open a can of cola to refresh myself. The house was less than a five minute walk from the news agents so in the back of my head I was thinking that I might be spending a bit of time in that newsagents if I get this digs, I was definitely getting ahead of myself as if this place was like any of the others I had visited then I would be living at home for at least the first semester of college.
I took a deep breath as I stood outside the three story, red brick Georgian town house, in front of the black painted front door, the polished brass number 7 hanging proudly front and center. I exhaled and gathered the courage to ring the doorbell, a loud ding dong could be heard through the front door. I took a step back so once the door was answered I would not be on top of who ever greeted me. I stood outside waiting, it was one of those experiences that felt like an eternity but in reality probably only took a couple of seconds, it was kind of like the last day of the year in school, that last minute before the bell rang giving you freedom for the summer, it would always feel like an hour.
The door swung open and I was greeted by a lovely looking woman, she was stunning to me. Being five foot I was used to people being taller than me, but this lady was at least a foot taller than me and a bit more, she had shoulder length dark red hair, clearly not her natural color this was a deep dark red, her hair was full and layered. She wore cool red framed glasses behind which sat beautiful green, almond shaped eyes that I could get lost in. Her thick full lips smiled at me warm and lovingly, I was really taken back by this lady, I was not used to being greeted by such a creature. I was normally greeted by people my age or a stressed out middle aged mother who was struggling to keep the house together. But this lady, while she was still old, at least in her thirties she seemed so calm and cool and full of warmth and love.
“Hi, I’m Amanda” I finally gathered the courage to nervously say
“Oh well hello Amanda, I’m Haley, you are here to look at a room right” Haley warmly greeted as she ushered me in and then pulled me into a big warm embrace, my face went straight into her bosom as I was somewhat taken off guard. I took me a moment to gather myself but I breathed her in deeply and hugged her tightly back, I’m not sure why but I felt like I wanted to hug this stranger, she seemed so warm and kind that I just wanted to be held by her and to hold her too.
“Well let me give you the tour”