Apartment, rather. Either way there are a few things you should know.
It’s loud as hell at all times, the construction around us never stops. The hallways are loud but the apartments are quiet. The bedroom door to the right squeaks and the bedroom door to the left doesn’t close fully until you jiggle the handle. The bed in the bedroom to the right squeaks and moves with every toss and turn and the blinds never fully close out the light from outside when you try to take a nap. Occasionally the air conditioning unit leaks. The lamp in the living room doesn’t work, and the coffee table is in such a place that you will bang your shin against it and cry out in pain at least once a week. The bookshelf is small so you’ll have to get creative about where to put your books, and there’s a strip of paint missing from our front door where our Christmas wreath didn’t come off cleanly one year. There’s no room for a Christmas tree, so you’ll have to get a mini shrub and pretend it still counts. Please forgive the chips off the tables, scrapes on the floors, and any paint missing from the walls where it came off with the tape holding my posters to them—I lived here first.
I hope you know that we lived here. We loved here, fought so hard the doors shook and walls ached here. I cried here, and there, and rediscovered why I love my best friend. My picture frames went there and there...that’s where the lighting is the best but I’m sure you’ll figure that out eventually. I grieved here, laughed here, studied for my very last biology test here. I loved this home before it became yours, so please excuse the bumps and scratches. Aggi used to pee on the ends of the couch when we would come home from a long trip to the States because she was so excited to see us. One time I filled this living room with 8 teenagers and we celebrated my 17th birthday here.
I hope you love it here just as much as I do. Because I love it so much here I’m not sure I want to leave. I love the way my posters look on my wall and how well my medals look hanging next to my closet. I’ve seen the same views out my windows for 3 years now, the same view always updated with something new. I really hope you live here, and I don’t just mean live as in go through the motions of life. I hope one day when it’s time for you to move on, you can still see the glow of your birthday candles with the 8 people who mean the most to you at that time gathered around you, singing. I hope you can recall the time you were laughing so hard you fell off the bed and that only made you laugh harder. I hope the mental picture of your room empty and without all your knickknacks makes you well up. Can you still smell all the great meals you had here? What about the time you were cooking toast and almost set the curtains on fire? I can. I hope you kiss every door and every window and every tile before you leave because you’re going to want to remember how those 3 years you spent here felt. I was in high school when we lived here. You may not be, but it’s still worth remembering.
So...I guess it’s that time. Time you replace my posters with yours, and bundle new sheets onto
my your bed. I’ll take down my pictures and hair bows and can only imagine what you’ll put in their place. You know, a tissue box fits perfectly in the corner of the nightstand’s upper drawer, and you can fit three suitcases on top of each other in the corner by the far window but it’s better to only put two so you can stack purses and miscellaneous stuff on top. There’s a blue nail polish stain underneath the bed by the way, sorry about that. Trying to paint your right hand with your left in bed is no easy task.
I’m always going to be a part of these walls. No matter how much paint or varnish or polish or posters or pictures you put up, I will still be here. Because I was here first. I lived here first. I ate pizza in bed first. But no matter how much I try to hold on to this place, I understand that it’s yours now. You live here now. You eat pizza in bed now. After you leave, the place will have more of you and less of me in it. And I understand that. But I lived here first. And you will want to leave this same letter for the people after you. Because you lived here before they did. And you will have burnt toast here before they do and spill things on the floor here before they do because you live here before they do. And they will see my nail polish stain and the crack in the bathtub and the scuff on the door, because I lived here first.
I hope you're happy here. That's what I want for whoever sits on this couch after I do. I was very happy here and I hope you find happiness here too. I'm moving on now and it's kind of scary and kind of sad and I know I'll never forget this place. Over time my attachment will fade, but I will never forget. That's what I hope for you. I hope this place becomes a home for you and whoever else you invite through the door. I hope that when it comes time for you to move on, you reflect on your time here and recognize the bad times that are now overlooked in favor of the good. I hope you cry a little at the thought of leaving, but ultimately smile when you close the door for the last time. This is what I did and this is what I wish for you.