I Never Believed In Fate But Maybe I'm Wrong
I’ve never been one to think that the universe gives us signs as to what we should be doing or where we should end up. However, years after I was put in a compromising situation, I am now starting to think that it possibly was fate. Maybe at the time, we are so consumed by the circumstances of this experience that we can’t see what is right in front of us.
Immediately after high school, I moved to Santa Monica, where I had only visited twice and knew no one. High school was tough and I didn’t get into a single school I applied to, so my obvious thought was get as far away from that life as I could. I applied to Santa Monica Community College and there was no talking me out of going.
I came to California a few weeks before school started with my mother and began my search for an apartment. I had not realized that apartments were so expensive, seeing as I lived in a huge one bedroom with parking and laundry for a mere 700 dollars in college. To say I was not prepared was an understatement, even though I had worked at a restaurant in college and saved some money, this was not going to be easy for me.
After visiting a few terrible apartments and meeting some very interesting tenants, including a house with several bedrooms in which the owner also lived so he had a bunch of weird rules like a curfew, I worried that I would not find a place to live. Then my mom and I saw an ad on craigslist for a place that was not only walkable to the school, but also had its own bathroom, so we went to see it.
The roommate who I will call Megan, was a 28-year-old female who had moved to the US from Argentina when she was younger and was finishing up some school while also working part time. She greeted my mother and I and showed us around the place. The apartment had wood floors, the only one in the building that did, a nice sized living room and kitchen, while the room and bathroom seemed perfect. We talked for a while, my mom asking most of the questions, as I looked around thinking I could definitely see myself here.
Then she mentioned that her previous roommate had not fully moved out yet because he was moving in a month but would be living on her floor until then. This was a huge bomb, plus it was a guy which I had never lived with before. However, being the persistent person that I am, I convinced my mom I was fine with it and that I wanted to move in. The reality was I was scared shitless and had no clue what I was getting myself into but we signed the papers and began moving me in the next day.
I woke up nervous but excited and we headed to the apartment. The Jewish woman that my mother is, she began by cleaning every inch of the bedroom and bathroom, while I began organizing some things in my new bedroom. Megan offered to help me get things from the car. She started off with a question I should’ve known was coming, “How old are you?”, without hesitation I said, “I’m about to turn 19 but I have a really good fake ID.” She laughed, so I laughed and we started talking about other general new roommate things.
After things were a bit more settled inside, Megan mentioned that she was going to meet some friends at a pool, and invited me along. My mom told me to go because she was waiting on the mattress to be delivered and she had more cleaning to do, so I agreed. On the way, Megan stopped at a store and got some stuff for the pool. She came out with two paper bags with Four Lokos in them and said cheers as we both chugged.
We took the bus to the pool, where we were met by Luke, a 6 foot 2 African American guy wearing a backpack and sunglasses with a huge smile on his face. “Is this her?!” He screamed, and with a smile he hugged me and said, “Welcome to the party!”. Megan and I followed him into the hotel and past the security as we went to the pool. Luke said hi to a bunch of people on the way and no one asked us questions.
There we met another two guy friends of Luke’s and some random girls that they had met. Megan took the backpack from Luke and motioned for me to follow her to the bathroom. Once inside, she revealed a bottle of vodka, cups and soda water from the backpack and began making us drinks. She said, “The drinks are so expensive here and they love Luke so we do whatever we want.” I accepted the drink and we went back to the pool where the boys were. We talked about random things until it was mentioned that Luke was the roommate that was staying with Megan for two weeks. We were having a good time and he seemed like a nice guy so I wasn’t worried about it at all. I had also consumed so much terrible alcohol that day that if I wasn’t giddy, I’d be concerned.
We returned to the apartment where Luke met my mother. My mom was leaving the next day so I went to stay at the hotel with her to see her off in the morning. The next day, I went back to the apartment and tried to settle myself in. For the next two weeks or so, Megan and I regularly hung out together, while Luke was around with his friends from time to time. Everything seemed to be working out.
Once school began, I wasn’t around the apartment as much because I was busy familiarizing myself with the area, while also doing homework for my classes. One day I noticed that I was having trouble finding things that I had remembered seeing since I had moved in. It seemed that I had misplaced things which normally I wouldn’t. I shook it off as having just settled in and it would turn up. One random day I came home and no one else was there. As I walked to my bedroom, I noticed that Megan’s door was open and I knew she hated that so I reached in to close it. On the dresser, I noticed a watch that looked exactly like mine that had gone missing. It could be that we have the same one or something so I closed the door and didn’t bring it up.
After over a month of Luke staying with us, I finally asked when he would be leaving and Megan got defensive about it. He was using space that was deemed to be mine and always had people over at all hours of the day and night which made it hard for me to do work at home. I asked her about the watch and she got even more defensive, so I went into my room and closed the door, texting my parents about what had happened. I didn’t know what else to do, so I avoided them until I left for class the next day.
When at school, I spoke to my parents and tried to find another housing situation for myself. School had started and there was nothing available that I could afford. My parents decided I should move into a hotel for a few days and have my stuff picked up when I find a new place. I agreed and went home to pack some things. Megan saw what I was doing and started questioning me, so I closed the door. I had never noticed but there wasn’t a lock on the door but she did not come inside. I called my parents and said I couldn’t leave my stuff at the apartment because I was afraid they’d steal it or ruin it if I left. We called movers and I continued to pack my clothes until they arrived.
Megan stopped them and called the police saying I was breaking my lease and trying to steal their furniture, which was untrue as she told my mom to throw their old stuff away when I moved in. I had receipts so the movers were allowed to go forward. The police took me aside and asked me questions about Megan and the situation. I noted that of course Luke wasn’t present for this argument. I told the officer that he was the main reason I was leaving and they stayed with me until the movers were done and I had all my stuff out of the apartment. We had nowhere to put my stuff on such short notice so we had all the furniture shipped back to Florida and I was to fly home the next day as I had no friends to stay with or anyone to even talk to in California.
All in all, I was miserable and broken. I felt that I had failed and that I would never be able to come back to live in California ever again. This failure felt so personal. I came down from my cloud of accomplishment with a heart wrenching crash that I thought I would never recover from.
It is now 8 years later and just today I realized that this was the biggest blessing life has ever thrown at me. I was so young but so determined to run away from my old life that I couldn’t see that I wasn’t ready to be across the country on my own. It felt like this moment, at just 18 years old, my life was forever ruined and I would never recover from this. Now, I barely think about these people or this experience. It almost never crosses my mind. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason, because sometimes things happen that make no sense, but in this instance, I feel that the universe gave me a sign that I had to wait for the right time and all would work out. I didn’t give up and I made it here right when I was supposed to.