It took me a few days to meet the people with whom I was sharing the apartment. I met Kiera first. Kiera is skinny, usually wears some variation of sweat pants and sweaters, and has burgundy hair. I heard her in the kitchen, so I wandered out. She was making tea, and immediately offered me some. While Ireland might be renowned for its beers, at the rate people drink tea, tea should be the national beverage (Kiera admits to drinking tea four to ten times a day). We talked for a bit, and then I retreated to my room and my headphones.
When I returned, Kiera and a friend had settled in at the kitchen table. She heard me come in, and, since I needed to get some dinner to eat anyway, I joined them for a bit. They had apparently spent the afternoon baking, as there were cupcakes lined up on the window sill and a liquidy attempt at icing on the table. Kiera and her friend were eating some green stuff and crackers.
“They’re really good,” Kiera told me between mouthfuls. “It’s pesto. I made it with kale.”
I could smell the basil, but what she was showing me did not look like any pesto I was familiar with.
“Oh, it’s just basil, kale, oil and garlic. It’s great with cheese and peppers on crackers. Here, let me make you one and you can try it,” she continued. “[Friend] is going to roll a smoke. Do you mind if we roll them out here?”
I supposed I didn’t, since while the pesto was tasty, I wanted to scavenge food and return to my one-room fortress. I did so, but Kiera’s friend provided talkative.
“Do you smoke?” she asked, dumping the contents of a bag onto a sheet of paper, then pouring a little into a wrapper. It wasn’t tobacco. “You’re welcome to join us. We have enough.”
No, I don’t smoke. Really, all I want to do is get food and then be left alone. Pretty please. None of this, however, stopped her from offering again. After assuring her that I was fine, I escaped from the kitchen and settled in to eat dinner and watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. About halfway through the episode, I was interrupted by a knock at the door. It was Kiera. She wanted the wifi password for her friend. I searched through my things and finally found it. I opened the door to give it to her, only to be invaded by the wonderful smell of cannabis. After she left, I closed the doors, sighed, opened the windows, and prayed that they wouldn’t do anything to set off the smoke alarm.
The next morning, when all was quiet, I went in to the kitchen to make breakfast. There, on the bulletin board, was a large official note from the management that was dated in June, with the summer wifi password.