Image Prompt 057 Response – Best Roommate Ever

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I chose the image of my cat Locke in a shopping bag for this week’s twenty-minute sprint.  I had to go a little bit longer to wrap up of the scene, so this is maybe closer to twenty-two minutes or writing, but close enough.

Best Roommate Ever:

Kara heard the sounds of paper crinkling from the corner of the living room.  She walked over to investigate.  They’d had a couple mice get in last month and a few lizards over the summer.  Apparently the lizards could crawl in through the air conditioning system somehow because they always came out of the vents.

Kara laughed when she reached the corner.  There were a few empty boxes and a paper shopping bag, which currently contained her roommate’s black cat.  He was turning around in the bag and pouncing at the corners.

“Hey sweet boy,” Kara said, just to make sure he knew she was there.  He could get snappy if you startled him.

Coda looked up at her with his bright yellow eyes and meowed his tiny little meow.  He was huge, a healthy fifteen pounds according to the last vet visit—which Kara had taken him to since her roommate got called into work last minute that day—but his meow was so tiny and high pitch, almost like a kittens.

“Having fun?” she asked as she reached down for the bag.  She picked it up, just to see what he would do.

Coda was sitting up when she did and he barely moved as she gently lifted him up to waist height.  He just stared up at her and then meowed again.

“Why don’t you come hang out with me?” she asked, carrying him to the couch and setting the bag down.  Kara sat down at the other end of the couch and laughed again when Coda leapt neatly out of the bag without even hitting the top.  He padded over and curled up against her leg.  He never seemed to want to sit in her lap, which worked out pretty well since fifteen pounds was a lot of cat to have in your lap.

Kara gently stroked his back.  He was the softest thing, with long fur that sat sleekly against his body.

“You’re such a good cat,” Kara told him.  “Such a sweetheart.”  She didn’t even end up turning on the TV as she’d intended.  She just sat there stroking Coda until her roommate got home.

“Hey, I’m back,” he called as he closed the door behind himself.

“Hey Mason,” Kara called out.

Coda meowed in greeting too.  Normally he was at the door waiting for Mason even when Kara was home.

“You two are getting along well today,” Mason said, smiling fondly as he walked through the living room.

“Yeah,” Kara said.  “I’ve always liked cats, but Coda is a real sweetie.”

“He likes you, too,” Mason assured her before heading into the kitchen.

Coda meowed.

“Yeah?” Kara said.  “You like me, huh?”  She reached down with both hands and rubbed his cheeks.  Coda purred, pushing his whole body against her thigh.  “I like you, too,” she said.  “If only I could find a guy I liked as much as you,” she murmured softly.  It had been a lonely several years for her.  Her high school boyfriend hadn’t wanted to continue when they went off to different schools and she’d never found anybody she liked enough in college.  And here she was, in her first job after graduation and she’d still not met anyone worth dating.

Coda meowed again, purring happily.

“Have you made any dinner plans yet?” Mason asked as he came back in sans work bag.

“Not yet,” Kara said.  “I was thinking about it but then got distracted.”

She smiled up at Mason, hoping he didn’t think she was a total flake.  He was an amazing roommate and she didn’t want to do anything to mess that up.

“He’s very distracting,” Mason said, coming over to stroke Coda’s side, his fingers brushing against Kara’s hand along the way.  His skin was warm, but Kara just shifted her hand, petting Coda’s head so she wouldn’t be in Mason’s way.  Dating a roommate was just a bad idea, even if he was the nicest guy she knew in the whole city.

“Yeah,” Kara agreed softly.

“Want to come out to dinner with me tonight?” Mason asked.  “It was kind of a crap day so I wanted to treat myself, and this is the longest I’ve ever had a roommate without a huge fight, so that seems worth celebrating too.”

“You don’t usually get along with your roommates?” Kara asked, frowning.

“I’ve just had bad luck,” Mason said.  “I never had a friend that wanted to live in the same room back in school, so I was always with random people and kept getting someone that didn’t agree with me about something big like cleaning or rules about who can be in the room when or something, which usually turned into a fight because I’m stubborn and a few of them had some serious testosterone poisoning going on.  I’ve only had three since college, and the other two were random online connections.  I figured you were going to be a great bet because a human being I actually knew recommended us to each other.”

“My first college roommate was horrible,” Kara said.  She understood about random roommates.  “She had a boyfriend, and he practically lived in our room.  It was kind of awful and no matter how many times our RA tried to help work it out she’d just break the new rules.”

“I had one like that,” Mason said.  “I got him moved out.”

“My RA never offered that as an option,” Kara said.  “I applied to be an RA my sophomore year so I’d never have to deal with another random roommate.”

“Just everyone else’s,” Mason said with a laugh.  “Come on,” he added, holding out his hand.

Kara gave Coda one more head scratch and stroked down his back before reaching up for Mason’s hand.

Mason pulled her up easily, smiling the whole time.

Coda meowed in protest.

Mason laughed.  “You have to share buddy,” he said to Coda.  “It’ll be my treat tonight to thank you for being an awesome roommate,” Mason said.  “Let’s go.”

“Thanks,” Kara said, squeezing his hand before pulling hers away.

Mason smiled over his shoulder at her and Kara thought really hard about how much of a bad idea it would be to date a roommate, but she still followed him out to his car to go to dinner.

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