Oddly enough, I took to it like a duck to water. I found it thrilling, to grow something, and to keep something alive. It felt amazing.
It grew pretty fast, the entire thing. I kept long hours, but it was thrilling to be my own boss. It felt… right, working in my greenhouse.
It was just… really hard to do it by myself. But I pushed through.
“I should go into town.” I told myself after a long day at work, as I drank some tea. “That new exhibit is open at the art gallery…” I hadn’t been out much, mostly keeping to myself. I had never been the most social person. I preferred my solitude.
I emailed Lisa often, and called her on the phone, but I found that it was hard to keep up with her when I worked all day, and she had fifty different things going on at once.
Sighing, I checked the time and decided to go out to the gallery. It would be nice, to spend time outside of my little house. I showered quick, and headed out, calling a taxi so I could get there before it closed.
The museum wasn’t what I expected. Maybe it’s because I lived in Bridgeport before, but I found it lacking. I tried to fake an interest but found myself bored fast.
“This is ridiculous.” I sighed,leaving the room when I ran into someone.
It felt like hitting a brick wall. “Ow!”
“Oh, crap!” a voice said above me, and I looked up to see a man looking down at me, looking sorry. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah.” I said, nervous. He laughed awkwardly, rubbing the back of his head.
“I’m Richard.” He offered.
“I’m Maria.” I replied, “Just moved here.”
“Really? Same… well… I moved here as in I’m living out a motel room.” He laughed awkwardly. “Looking for a job.”
“Oh, what kind?” I asked as Richard shrugged.
“Anything. I used to play for a baseball team, so I’m good with physical stuff. I like the outdoors too.”
Richard and I chatted a bit longer before we traded numbers and I headed back home to eat supper and get some sleep. It was nice, talking to someone.
Lisa was thrilled when I called her the next day.
“I’m so glad you’re branching out!” she cheered.
“I talked to him for like ten minutes.” I snorted. “He’s looking for a job, and-“
“Hey, weren’t you talking about needing help?” Lisa asked, sounding really perky. “You should hire him!”
“I… I suppose.” I agreed over the phone, somewhat surprised by the idea, but I warmed up to it.
The next day, I called up Richard and asked the meet him at the library.
“Hey Richard, how is the search for a job going?” I asked nervously.
“Alright, I applied here, thought they could use a strong guy to carry around all the books.” He said, grinning. I was bit nervous as I stuttered out my offer, my shy personality from high school back with a vengeance.
“Well, I was wondering if you’d like a job at my greenhouse?” I asked, “If you have another job lined up, that’s great, I just thought-“
“Hey, it’s okay.” Richard laughed, calming me down. “How much would it pay?”
“Not to much at first, but I um…” a sudden thought occurred to me then, and I offered it without second guessing myself. “I have a spare bedroom, and you said you were living in a hotel room, if you want, I can pay you and provide room and board?”
“…Do you offer this to all the strangers in town?” Richard asked, more joking than anything, but he then nodded. “That actually sounds amazing. I know how to garden anyway, and I’m a crap cook, this will be the perfect thing.”
“Well… I can cook, so we’re good here.” I smiled, and Richard laughed a bit at me.
Richard moved in a few days later but started working the next day right away. Instantly it was a load off my back. He was a hard worker who never complained, and had fun remarks to make at times.
I went from working all day to only working on the plants in the morning, afternoons were spent doing paperwork and filling out forms that would let us sell things to the grocery store, and then evenings I went off and did something fun.
Richard himself knew quite a few tricks to gardening and even knew of ways to cut down on cost. Like fishing.
“We use it for the fertilizer, and then, later on, we don’t have to pay as much!” he explained to me, as we stood by the riverside.
“Yeah, I get it, Richard, I’m just saying that I haven’t gone fishing before!” I said, throwing my hands up. “I grew up in Bridgeport!”
“Don’t you have an ocean by Bridgeport?” Richard asked.
“Well, yeah, but you need a specialized license.” I said, shrugging.
“Bridgeport got it’s original start as a fishing town, and grew pretty big, and then boomed when it got into shipping. You need a license because of how depleted the waters are.” I said. “I used to send them out as part of my job.”
“Huh… that’s new… but you don’t need one here, I checked! Come on, let’s fish!” I laughed and agreed, spending the evening with him on the shore, catching fish for the greenhouse.
It was pretty calming, just being out there and fishing. It felt really nice.
There were some instances where living together was odd. Richard worked out early in the morning on a chin-up bar I had agreed to let him put in his room, but after a while, I somewhat wanted to ask him to put in the attic and do it up there- though I never did.
I didn’t even remember where you could pull down the ladder anyway.
He was just so loud, it was annoying. But, eventually, I got used to it. A month went by, and I found myself settling into my new life rather easily. It was calm, quiet, and I had a friend. Life was pretty good.