“Mornin,’” I said through a mouthful of toothpaste. Liz joined me in front of the bathroom mirror, turning on her hair straightener. “Are you off to work soon?”

“Uh-huh. I was going to tell you: Nicole just texted me and said she’s going to look at a house this morning. You wanna go with her and check it out?”

I finished brushing my teeth before saying, “Sure! Do you have the address?”

“Yup! It’s actually not too far from where I work, so we could just carpool again if that works for you.”

It sounded great to me. We set off west and, after I dropped her off in downtown Pasadena, I navigated my way to the new house prospect. Nicole is another Wheaton grad who is looking to live with us. While I’d interacted with her on several occasions during college, I really did not know her all that well. We met at the front gate and greeted each other with a hug. It’s just so fun to see familiar faces all the time!

The realtor turned out to be more interesting than the house. Her bright yellow top and lacy, belled-out pants completely meshed with her personality. The house turned out to be a little too small and quite a bit out of our price range. It was worth it, though, just to hear the realtor tell about all the celebrities that lived in the area. Apparently that’s a big ‘sell’ out in these parts!

I asked Nicole what her plans for the afternoon were. She’s been here the longest, having spent all last semester at the LA Film School. From there she was able to snag an editing internship.

“My boss gave me the day off, because he knew I was looking at houses,” she told me. “I was going to try and go in for the afternoon, but the bus schedule was just complicated.” Nicole has survived in LA for almost six months without a car. It’s rather amazing. I offered to drive for the rest of the day… as long as we could head to Starbucks for a bit.

We ended up at Starbucks for several hours, reminiscing over Wheaton and scouring the Internet for potential housing situations. She asked what kind of work I was interested in doing in Hollywood and when I told her “production of some sort” she paused.

“I actually have a friend who’s a pretty big producer,” she told me. “Would you be interested in meeting him?”

“Oh my word! Of course! That would be amazing.” I could hardly contain my excitement.

We spent the afternoon doing walk-throughs, before meeting up with the other Wheaties. Ten, Tim, and Liz met us at a chic hot dog place for dinner. We laughed about the gregariousness of the realtors out here in California and planned our strategy for the week (which mostly consisted of: let’s look at more houses and try and find jobs). Liz and I left together. On the way home she suggested, “Let’s go to the golf course!”

I happily agreed and we went to the range for an hour. It was just a little local club by her house, but the palm trees and the setting sun made it feel like a resort. I gave Liz her first lesson and she really started hitting the ball well. The only other golfer at the range came over and asked me, “How much do you charge for lessons?”

I laughed and said that I was just helping out my friend. We ended up chatting for a while, though, and I learned a little about the course’s golfing community. It feels so natural talking about golf. I love the dynamics associated with different golf courses. Brookside felt frazzlingly busy compared to this little place. The comparison just made me think more carefully about where I would want to work. I’m going to continue my job search and feel out some other courses in the area.

While the days ahead seemed rather predictable (look at houses, apply for jobs, etc.), I could not have begun to imagine the surprises that were in store…

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