Alinash snuck out of the old barracks late in the morning. His appointment to visit an apartment was soon. Today, he had brought his backpack, containing most of his belongings, with him. Hopefully, he wouldn’t need to go back. I hate the old barracks. He double-checked that his hat was well-placed over his ears, and pulled the brim down lower as he stepped out into the street.
I hate looking at the ground. It was necessary. He couldn’t let anyone see his eyes. He worried a little how he would actually see the apartment if he didn’t look up. I hate not knowing what I’m paying for. He kicked at a loose stone in the pavement as he walked towards the place.
It wasn’t far from where he had been spending his nights. When he arrived there, the door was already open. His ear twitched far up in his hat as he knocked on the door frame. The door opened up directly to a staircase leading up to the second floor. “Hello?”, he called out up the stairs. He looked up briefly. Don’t look up. He looked back down and took a step inside.
“Oh, hello!” It was an older woman’s voice. “You’ve come to see the apartment? Come up, deary! I was just opening the windows. The repairs were just finished to the roof. It’s been awhile since anyone has lived here and it needed some airing out.”
Alinash went up the stairs cautiously. He continued to keep his head down. I hate being called ‘deary’.
“The roof was leaking after what happened in the park. We think the dragon might have hit it a little after what he did there. With all the other repairs going on, I had to wait to find someone to fix it.” The old woman explained as Alinash reached the top of the stairs and entered the room.
It was small, only two rooms. The first thing Alinash noticed was how hot it was. The open windows did little to help. “Is it as warm in the winter?” That was his main concern. Although, now he wondered if he shouldn’t worry that it would be too hot during the summer.
“Of course, deary.” The old woman said. She opened one of the two doors in the first room, this one next to a small kitchen area. I hate cooking.
He glanced into the room, keeping his head down. It was a small washroom. It had a bathtub, but it had to be manually filled. The sink appeared to have running water though. That was preferable to having to find a well. He checked if the sink worked, and smiled slightly as the cool water poured from the tap.
“The bedroom is this way, deary.”
Stop calling me ‘deary’. Alinash followed her to the other room. It was small, but he figured it was big enough for him. He walked over to the window, keeping his head down still as he looked out at the street below. “I’ll take it.” He turned as he took the coin purse with the first months rent from his pocket and held it out towards the woman. I hate paying rent.
She took the coin purse and began to leave. She stopped and turned towards him, “Is there a reason you wear that hat, deary?”
“Facial scarring. I don’t like anyone to see it.” He smiled at the lie. It was a good one.
She turned and began hobbling down the steps.
He wondered how far away the place the Harrier had spoken of the night before was, and if he spoken to Star about him yet. He set his bag down in the bedroom. Maybe after he unpacked he would go see where the place was.