"Everything really does look better online, doesn't it?" Lucien whispers as our realtor shows us through our first appartment. I nudge him in the ribs, gesturing for him to be quiet. Sounding like conceited assholes won't really make us come across as great clients.
"Come on," he's got his arm draped across my shoulder, and he pulls me a little closer so he can whisper in my ear, "this shouldn't be allowed to be called an appartment. This is a shoebox, barely bigger than your place, and costs over three times the rent.."
I nod, agreeing. This place looked promising online, with enough natural light, and definitely decently sized. Turns out, the living room barely has space for a keyboard, let alone a grand piano, and the ceilings are lower than they looked in the photographs. As soon as we entered, both of us tried not to show our disappointment, and we've managed quite well so far.
"But we got lucky to even have been scheduled for two viewings this quickly," I remind him. It's tuesday, and after an early lecture I came back to Edinburgh as quickly as I could so we could look at places together.
The kitchen looks like it was built in the thirties, and I'd bet the cabinets would come tumbling down as soon as you put more than a package of pasta in there. The colour is lovely though - a dark teal. With new couter tops, it could be something marvelous, but it wouldn't be worth the investment.
"Spare bedroom," the flashy looking, thirty-something realtor really trying to sell this house. The room has a tiny window, covered by flimsy paper curtain, and the carpet has stains on it I don't even want to look at for too long. "Could be an office, or a nursery." He looks at us, definitely trying to figure out our opinion on the latter, and I can't help but chuckle.
"Not any time soon," I let him know, checking with Lucien for his agreement as he nods.
"Well, you never know," he smiles, pointing out some 'authentic' details as we go along. Even someone who's never seen anything that could even be considered authentic could tell those little details were applied maybe five years ago, the stark white standing out against the cream coloured walls.
"We've only been together for a month," Lucien teases, earning him another poke as the realtor gives me a slightly confused look. It's probably in his job description not to judge, but he's having a hard time at the moment.
"He's... being silly," I assure him, feeling Lucien chuckle. "Well, technically, he's right, but we were together before. We just took a little break."
The realtor raises both hands as he smiles that business smile. "None of my business. All I'm here for is to make sure you two find the place of your dreams, nothing more and nothing less."
"Well, John," Lucien has come down from laughing at his own joke, and squeezes my shoulder softly. "I don't think this one will be the one for us, you know?"
He nods way too enthousiastically, probably having shown this appartment a billion times before, knowing full well no one is willing to pay an arm and a leg to live here. "How about we go see that second appartment, then?"
      It's... not bad. Definitely not the one, either, but it's better than the previous one. The ceilings are higher, which is good, and the overall complex is nice, but the lay-out is just weird and the bath is a bath-shower combo, which Lucien has told me he detests.
"Not quite it, either, no?" John asks, seeing our facial expressions as we've reached this appartment's spare bedroom - or nursery, as he again felt the need to accentuate, as if we haven't told him that's not on our wish list whatsoever.
"It's just...," Lucien breathes, taking in the place. The kitchen is nice, too, and it has plenty of storage space, but the living room has a weird L-shape, which tells us there would never be enough floor space for a piano. He looks at me, and I can tell that's what he's thinking too. "It's lovely, and ticks most of our boxes, but... well, there's no space for a piano."
I realise we must sound like such brats now, in our late twenties looking for a place that suits a piano. But then again, we can afford it - well, Lucien can, and we are allowed to have our wishes at the ready.
John's eyes sparkle. "That's why the big living room was on your list?"
He nods. "My old place didn't have space for it, and neither does her appartment," he smiles at me, "but I don't think I can go without."
"I fully understand," John almost sounds like a little kid. "My father was a great pianist, and he taught classes at home. It really is something special, you can't just cram that away in a corner, now can you?"
He opens up his folder, flipping through pages until he looks up, looking quite excited.
"Okay, there's this one appartment," he scans the page, his finger following his eyes on the paper, "technically not for rent yet, but it will be at any moment. Three bedrooms, one of which has been converted into an office. Two bathrooms, nice kitchen with storage, two balconies - one off of the master bed, one off of the living room. Big living room, too, tall windows, plenty of space for a piano. Eleventh floor, to be reached by elevator. Slightly above budget, but only by two-hundred-seventy pounds. Built in fire place, even."
We're both waiting for the 'but' at the end of his sentence, but it doesn't seem to come.
"If you're patient enough to wait about an hour," he then lets us know, handing us the piece of paper. It doesn't include much, just the rental price, the details John has already given us, and a picture of the entryway. "I could make some calls, see if we can take a look."

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