Well, it’s official. We’ve moved out all our stuff, paid the carpet cleaner, relinquished our keys and set up our mail forwarding. We’ve officially bid adieu to our apartment, our first home as a couple, and my first home away from home.
Even though I’m happy to be moving on, I feel a tad sentimental about leaving our first love nest. We only spent two years there, but it was a pretty crucial two years. We learned how to live together, how to balance the mundane details of everyday life with making time to keep getting to know each other. I learned how to cook. The Fiance learned that bringing home flowers spontaneously could inspire said cooking. We both learned that neither one of us is a particularly good dancer (but we kind of already knew that). We had some bad times (The Fiance falling down the stairs and breaking his leg), some good times (a surprise proposal), and lots and lots of little moments in between that turned that 80s townhouse into home.
As I surveyed the empty apartment, looking just the way we found it, I remembered the night we first saw it. It was also the night I got pulled over for the first time. I was running late to meet The Fiance (then The Boyfriend) at the apartment, waiting to turn across traffic, holding the phone with one shoulder while he gave me directions. I decided to cut someone off, and realized too late that someone had lights and a siren.
I always thought I’d cry the first time I got pulled over, or at least have some kind of good story. But as flustered and rushed as I was, all I could manage to do was say, “I know, I’m sorry” as the cop reminded me that I did not have the right of way, I was not paying attention and I made his life flash before his eyes. I got off with a warning, though, without any tears or clever stories.
By the time I made it to the apartment, The Fiance had already seen the whole thing and was in love with it. “Let’s take it,” he said as soon as I walked in. Annoyed he’d already decided without me and irritated that I’d broken my spotless six-year driving record, I caved and said yes. Only afterward did the excitement set in. We were moving in together.
It was a different kind of excitement -- bittersweet -- we felt as we left the apartment for the last time: ready to end that stage of our life and prepare for the next, but sad to say goodbye to our first place. The whole thing called for a couple of celebratory beers and Belgian frites at the local pub. Cheers!