Alyssa and Libby did one more walk through the small house, their respective blue and brown eyes meeting behind the woman who drowned on in front of them, guiding them through the house. They had reached a silent agreement in that glance. They were both in love with the house, which sat back on a residential street right off of of the Alberta Arts District in Portland Oregon.
It was small and quaint, and could use a fresh coat of paint, but as soon as they walked in, it had felt like home. Alyssa could already see herself in the upstairs bedroom, which had area for an art studio and it's own bathroom, while Libby was already planning neighborhood parties in the back yard, complete with twinkle lights and her pilfered state of the art grill.
"I don't want to pressure you girls, but we've had a lot of interest in the place since we've put it up for rent," their prospective landlord said, "and I feel good about you two. I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I bought this house before I met my husband, did a lot of the improvements myself. It's hard to leave, but I would feel so much better if I trusted the people I rented to."
Alyssa and Libby again made eye contact with one another, Libby stepping forward and placing a hand on the woman's shoulder, "We absolutely love your home. When can we move in?" Her brown eyes were glowing in excitement. This was just the fresh start that she needed after her divorce. Thankfully Alyssa had been willing to move in with her, there was no way she could afford a place on her own after things got so ugly with Marco.
"You can move in after the first of the month. I wanted to get the yard replanted, and then she's all yours. Let me just run out and get the paperwork."
As the mouse of a woman left out the front door, Libby turned to Alyssa on her heels, still looking graceful in her obvious excitement.
"I'm so excited, I'm so excited," She sang while shuffling her feet, "Alyssa, this is going to be amazing!" She jumped and clapped her hands together. "We're minutes from EVERYTHING, and did you see that upstairs bedroom? That is going to be perfect for painting. Not only that, but you can take your work right up the street for Last Thursday. You'd make a killing!" Libby spun around again, her chestnut brown hair swirling around her, shining in the light that spilled through the windows in the breakfast nook.
Alyssa smiled and crossed her arms across her stomach. She was happy. She felt a nervous excitement, and was trying desperately not to get emotional as she watched Libby dance in front of her. She had watched her best friend have a difficult year, yet she never faltered. It seemed as though even the most trying incidents that happened to Libby turned into incidents of luck and fortune. While her divorce from Marco stunned everyone, especially Alyssa, (Alyssa had never known a man to walk willingly away from Libby, and she had known Libby since the first grade), while sitting in the courtroom Libby had met just the right individual, who offered her a job as the Director of Volunteer Programs at Mt. St. Helens. The three years spent traveling with Marco as managed volunteer groups for Global Vision International was time well spent.
Libby always landed on her feet. Alyssa was proud of her friend, and she was sure living with Libby was going to be good for her. Maybe help her to come out of her shell a little bit. Though Libby had always felt as though she blended in the background next to Libby. Beautiful, charismatic Libby.
"All right, I have the paperwork for you girls right here," their new landlord said, handing them each a set of papers to fill out. "The deposit is 1,000, which is fully refundable should you move and there are no major repairs to be made. Also, you can spread that out with your first two months rent, if that makes it more manageable."
"Sounds good," Libby responded in her melodious voice, flipping her hair over her shoulder in a way that caused the landlord to stutter. Libby didn't notice the effect she had on other people, Alyssa did, as she often sat back and watched. Men and women often responded in the same way, looking twice if not three times if Libby happened to walk by. She was a stunning woman, inside and out. She carried herself with confidence, but also very approachable and likable.
Alyssa smiled, self-consciously pushing her own blond hair from her face and scuffing the toe of her cowboy boot into the ground. She was also a pretty girl, in an unassuming way, becoming more beautiful as you got to know her, peeled away her layers - so to speak. She was quiet, but had a loud unembarrassed laugh when it was deserved. It was a laugh you strove to get from her, and felt self-satisfied if you received it. She was artistic and worked at the Portland Art Museum as a curator. While she loved her job, she longed to have her own art on display.
"We are going to have so much fun here, Lys. I can feel it. Good things are coming our way," Libby said putting her arm around her friend. "Two beautiful woman, taking on P-town. They won't know what hit them. I think we need to celebrate our new abode my dear." She leaned over and quickly kissed Alyssa's cheek. "Have I told you how much I love you. You are, seriously, the best friend ever." Libby leaned over and placed her head on Alyssa's shoulder. Both women were the 5'9", and very close to the same size - though Libby was curvier than Alyssa, blessed in all the right ways. Alyssa was very long and lean, from her regular early morning runs. She was already mapping out a morning run around her new neighborhood.
This was going to be a fun. She looked forward to really getting to know her dear friend as an adult. While the women had never been out of touch for longer than three days, it had been over three years since they had lived in the same state. After Libby had gotten divorced she had run to Alyssa as a respite, the only family that she had. Libby's mother and father had been in a car accident the summer before their senior year in high school. Libby's father had been drinking and the accident had killed his wife, filled with remorse, he had taken his own life. Libby had moved in with Alyssa and her family for their last year of high school. That was the last time that they had lived together, both going their own ways, only now being brought back together.