He stared at the phone—the call had more than ended—and tossed it onto the end of the couch.
That didn’t go as he planned, he thought to himself with a sigh, running his fingers through his freshly cut hair.
He would have thought his brother, Marcus, would have been happy he was looking for a new place to live. Looking around the big open concept game room/loft area upstairs, he shook his head. When he had moved in a couple of years ago, his plan hadn’t been to stay there this long to begin with. He had only planned on getting his head together, licking his wounds and manning up to face the world.
Instead, one thing after another happened, and before he knew it, his two older brothers, a childhood friend who was more family than friend, and himself were all living under the same roof like in some fucked-up cable TV show.
His phone rang, and he leaned over and grabbed it, answering without looking at it.
“Wright,” he barked, slightly pissed but mostly frustrated that Marc was somehow upset. He really had no right to be. It was time. Not only that, but Marc was engaged now. He had an instant family, so he was going to need the space and privacy. Maybe with him getting the hell outta here, it would help to get Garrett and Don out, too.
“B?” a somewhat familiar voice rang out, and his frustrations faded away and he found himself grinning.
“Vaughn? Vaughn McGuire?” he asked, feeling his lips tilt upward.
“Yeah! Hey, man! I can’t believe you recognized my voice!” His old college buddy laughed, and Bryan settled into the couch.
“Damn, man, it’s been a long time!”
“Yeah… couple years now.”
“Shit, dude, you blink and years fly past you.”
“You’re telling me.”
“Not to be an ass, but how did you get my number?”
“Donnie. I, uh, saw him out one of these days.”
“Nice. How’s it going?”
“Well, that’s what I was calling about. Don mentioned you were looking for a new place. You’re all living at Marc’s pad?”
“Yeah, long story.”
“Man, when I saw him, I would have bet an easy grand you were living in the burbs with Courtney and half a dozen kids by now,” Vaughn joked, and Bryan bit the inside of his lip. So did I. Shaking his head of the dark thoughts that threatened to cloud his mind, he cleared his throat.
“Na, man, we split up a while ago.”
“Sorry to hear that, man. I know you guys had been together forever. Since high school, right?”
“Yep.” He almost wanted to laugh at how Vaughn hadn’t changed. Never knowing when to stop talking.
“But hey, look, I’m subletting this place right on the beach—“
“Vaughn, I’m looking to buy my own place, not really thinking about having a roommate,” he interrupted.
“Right. Don mentioned that. Said you didn’t know where exactly you wanted to relocate to. That’s why I’m calling. I gotta head outta town for a while. A couple of months. I was hoping you might be interested.”
“A place on the beach.” He didn’t hate the idea.
“I just wanna make sure the place is taken care of. Someone around to watch over it.”
“Sounds good, man.”
“Listen, it has this small guesthouse in the back.” Ah, and here was the catch.
“I have a boarder.“ The call cut out and he couldn’t hear more than static, “… Duncan. Best person I know. No one I trust more, man.”
“Okay, why not just let Duncan take it?” he asked, and the call once again broke apart as Vaughn spoke. “Man, I can’t hear you,” he spoke hoping that his friend could hear him.
“In and out of the hospital all the time,” came through the bad connection, hardly ever there. “You know that life. Shift after shift and then sometimes even picks up doubles.”
“Man, it’s cool. You said Duncan lives out in the guesthouse?”
“Yeah, man. Like I said, no one I trust more.”
“Send me some pictures and the cost, and I’ll hit you up.”
“Trust me, you are going to love it. It’s a great place. Great views, close to a bunch of restaurants and shit. Worst case, a great place to try out for a while.”
“Cool. Send me the stuff. I’ll let you know.” He smiled thinking that as much as he loved the place he was living at, a place on the beach sounded good.
Not even five minutes after his phone dinged, ten pictures of the place came into view, and just like that, Bryan had a new place to stay.
He was ready to start living again.