The car ride had been utterly silent. Since leaving the fifth and final place they were looking at today—the train wreck of viewings that the realtor had set up for them—Neither Harvey nor Nessa had anything to say. Not anger or frustration, just dejection. Nessa did swear quietly as the key got stuck in the door of their three-room apartment which was supposed to be just a temporary place but through one roadblock or another had turned into their home for almost two years now.
“Well, I like the third place. It wasn’t that bad.” Harvey smiled coming into the main room, trying to lift Nessa’s mood.
“Really?” she collapsed on the futon dramatically. “Everything there smelled like fish. And not faintly like fish, but like someone hid week old tuna and herring in all of the air vents and turned on the heat for six months.”
“It—wasn’t that bad,” Harvey protested weakly, lifting Nessa’s legs to sit down on one end of the couch, before pulling her feet into his lap. She sat up a little to raise an eyebrow at him and he shrugged, starting a half-hearted foot rub. “Okay. It was that bad. But I did like that third place for everything else.”
“Yeah—I did too.” She flopped back against the cushions, “New goal: find a place exactly like the third place we saw today, but doesn’t smell like it’s where bad fish go to die.”
“Noted.” He smiled, leaning his head back without ever stopping the gentle foot rub. “I thought this was going to be so easy. I thought for sure we’d have a place by now.” He mumbled to himself.
“I told you,” she groaned, a hand waged vaguely in the air which may have been an attempt to send a rude hand gesture in his direction. “I warned you. I tried to tell you that your time line was unrealistic. I tried to warn you.”
He added new vigor to the foot rub now. “I know, I know. You were right, and I was an idiot for not listening to your well-organized research.”
“That’s right you were,” she grumped to the ceiling, “It was good research.”
“It was, love, it was very good research.” While continuing the foot rub with one hand, he reached out and brought her hand to his lips. “The best of the research.”
“Yes, and don’t you forget it.” Nessa sighed, pressing her hand gently against his lips in the lazy way of kissing him back. When Harvey dropped her hand to go back to the foot rub, Nessa propped herself up on her elbows. “We’ve got to fire Karen.”
Harvey laughed. “Oh yeah, we definitely do. I’m pretty sure the fourth place was an active drug lab. We’re not going to find someplace we like with her. We need to find a realtor more along our view for a home.” Harvey paused for a second before— “I almost hate to ask, love…”
Nessa rolled her eyes, but smiled. “Don’t worry, Har, I’ll do some research.”