Hey guys, I've come up with an update schedule that I'm fairly happy with (and one that I hope you guys will be happy with too). I mentioned on my other main story (Hurting) that I was considering doing a new one and showed you guys a preview of this one I'm starting now. One of my reviewers bought up the issue of staying on schedule if I'm balancing two stories, so I came up with the idea that I update one of my stories every second Sunday, alternating between each story. This gives me plenty of time to write, proof read and correct between my chapters too as each one will be updated once a month.

So today I'll be publishing this first chapter (yay!), and then in two weeks time I'll update my other story and so forth. Hope you guys enjoy, and please rate

After what felt like months of searching, I was ready to give up and this time I meant it. I threw my hands up in the air, flinging the wireless mouse across the room and onto Kari's lap.

"I'm so done with this!" I wheeled around in my chair and stood up. Storming over to the pile of cardboard boxes, I began to peel the duct tape from them, fully intent on settling down in my old bedroom.

It hadn't changed much ever since I left for college. The walls were still a baby pink and there were traces of tack left over from all of the posters. Mom didn't even paint over the collage I made in ninth grade, despite how nauseatingly bright and tacky it was.

One year out of college and I was back where I started – my parents' house. While I was in college they offered board, which I jumped straight into. After leaving, I settled into an apartment in town where I was comfortable. That was until I fell behind in my rent and came home to an eviction notice.

"I'm never going to find a God damned affordable house. Not in this damn economy anyway." I mumbled to myself as I opened the first box which revealed to be full of DVD's. After effortlessly picking the box up and dumping it next to my DVD shelf, I proceeded to the second one.

In the midst of my fit of prying open boxes, fully intent on unpacking and settling back in, Kari had made her way over to my desk and was scrolling through the forty third out of the fifty pages advertising the most recent housing and apartment shares.

"How about this one? Two bedrooms, one bathroom. It's just across town." She suggested but then shook her head when she saw the weekly rent. "Maybe not at that price." Trying to be helpful, she rattled off a few more suggestions but they were either too expensive or in the dodgy part of town where no twenty three year old woman should go without a can of pepper spray. Being just a bit taller than five feet, I was the poster child for a victim in those neighbourhoods.

"This one looks nice." She called me over. "Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one study. Wow, look at that living room! It's in your price range, Chloe!"

I gazed over the web page where somebody by the name of Derek had posted an advertisement for an apartment share. Kari was right; it was in my price range. I couldn't help but wonder why it was so cheap. Was somebody murdered in the second bedroom or something?

She sensed my hesitation as I rocked back on my heels. "Just look into it, Chlo. It can't hurt to get a tour of the place. Give this Derek guy a call and see what you can arrange. You really don't want to live in your old high school bedroom forever."

I sighed with even more hesitation and Kari picked up on it instantly.

"I might give him a call tomorrow." I slumped back onto my bed, defeated. House and apartment share hunting was more exhausting than I would've thought.

"No, you call him today." Kari demanded. "You've been here for five weeks and you're going crazy already."

Kari was right. After living on my own for just a little over four years – even if most of that time was spent in my college dorm- , I was completely independent and content with how my life was going, but after being evicted I had nowhere to go other than my parent's house. As much as I loved my mom and dad, living with them was the last thing I wanted to do at the age of twenty three after initially moving out.

"Fine, I'll call him today but that doesn't mean that anything's guaranteed." I told her.

Kari sighed. "Just talk to him, tell him that you're fresh out of college, you work and you're quiet and neat and he'll give you the apartment share on a silver platter."

I scoffed. "Yeah, I wish it worked like that but there are probably other people calling him about it too."

"Well it doesn't hurt to try." She chimed. "Anyways, I've got to get to work. Don't unpack your things just yet, Chloe, because even if things don't work out with this Derek guy, you'll find a place soon enough." She assured.

I smiled at her words of encouragement as she let herself out and I turned back to the computer screen. The apartment did seem nice, and it was in a decent part of town. It was also in my price range. The guy who placed the advertisement also seemed pretty decent so I scrolled down to his number, fully intent on calling him when I was interrupted by a knock on my door.

"Found anything yet?" Mom asked.

I sighed. "There's not much in terms of comfort and affordability, but Kari pointed out this one." I tilted the computer screen to show her. "It looks nice enough and it's within my budget."

"It looks cosy, but are you sure you want to share an apartment with a boy, Chloe?" She asked, sceptical. After all, I was still her baby and she took the opportunity of me living under her roof, once again, to coddle me as much as she could before I found a place to live.

"Right now it seems like my only option. The only other places that I can afford are across town and I don't think I'm desperate enough yet to consider them. Any ways, I'm sure he's nice."

My mother hesitatingly nodded her approval and I grinned at her. After I told her that I was about to call this Derek guy, she wished me luck and left me in peace.

With each passing moment I grew more nervous in calling him. What was I even supposed to say? 'Hey, my name's Chloe and I want to live with you.' Probably wouldn't be the best approach.

Before I even realised, I had dialled the number listed on the web page. My phone was up at my ear and I was hearing the unsettling ring ring as I awaited an answer.

When I heard the dull clunk of the phone being picked up, my mind was rid of every single word I had rehearsed in my head prior to dialling.

A gruff 'Hello?' greeted me on the other end of the line and I took a deep breath.

"H-hello, is this D-Derek?" I mentally cursed myself when my stutter kicked in.

The person on the other end sighed. "Yes this is Derek."

"Oh okay." I paused. "My name is Chloe, I'm just calling about the-"

"I know what you're calling about." He cut me off.

I was taken aback by his abruptness. For somebody who, I assumed, was looking for somebody else to try and lessen their financial burden, they were the opposite of welcoming.

"M-my understanding is that y-you're s-s-still looking for somebody?" Once again, I cursed my stutter.

"How old are you?" He asked.

"Twenty three." I replied.

"And you stutter?" He asked with what I would've described as disbelief evident in his voice.

My mouth gaped open in disbelief. Who the hell does this guy think he is? Every single bone in my body wanted to tell him where to go and hang up, but I was desperate. "I don't see where this comes into play here, Derek." I stated firmly. "I called you to inquire about the advertisement you placed for the apartment share but if you're going to be hostile about this then let me tell you that you'll have a lot of trouble finding somebody who will put up with your crap." I told him and then hung up.

My fists shook out of anger and I let out a frustrated grunt. I threw my phone on my bed and then plonked down beside it out of defeat. I was so close to giving up, no matter how badly I wanted to pack my things, move out and be independent again.

In the midst of my fit of anger, my phone rang under an unfamiliar number. I reluctantly answered it with a 'Hello?'

Instantly, the person on the other line spoke. "It's Derek; I got your number from caller ID. Look, I'm sorry about that and it was probably uncalled for and I doubt you want to give me a shot, but did you want to come and check out the flat? I didn't mean to offend you."

I let out a lengthy and loud sigh, hoping that he would hear. I thought about it for a moment, and then eventually told him "Sure."

After a brief chat, we sorted out a date and a time that was suitable for the both of us to meet at his apartment. We exchanged our goodbyes and hung up.

Derek didn't seem like the most welcoming person on Earth, but the least I could do for him was give him a shot. Besides, he was man enough to call me back and apologise after insulting me, so maybe he was nice after all.

And if I were to move in with this guy, I just hoped that I was making the right choice.