It came after 3120 and 3506. It came after what seemed like forever, but was, in reality, just 3 months. It held the promise of peace and of growth.

3120 had had the boys. The damned boys. One, a socially awkward man in his mid 20s: multilingual, and lover of all things artistic. The other? A narcissistic, self-absorbed womanizer in his late 20s that respected no one.

3120…. Everyone asked if I was sure. “Do you know them?” “Have you spoken to any of their friends?” “Did you Facebook stalk them?” I didn’t. I hadn’t. I did. And none of that reassured me that 3120 was a good decision but I was desperate and so I went in. I told everyone I was a big girl and could handle anything. Boy was I wrong.

I moved into 3120 on a sunny day in August. I moved out on a terribly wet day in February. If I let the weather tell the story, then you could say I moved in feeling bright and ready for whatever and I moved out bruised and destroyed everywhere but physically. It’d be easy to blame the damage on Narcissist. But he merely triggered it. This was all there before him. He simply drove the nail into the wood.

I want to tell about 3506. But all I have are blank slates. Not because there is nothing to report but because everything happened at a time where I’d be lying if I said I was present. I faked a presence for 3 months. Pretending to have it all figured out. Engaging in conversations. Joking. Saying it was merely stress. That was a comfortable way to tell it. It said so little. After 3 months however I collapsed into a helpless heap. The days became a blur. I dragged my mattress out to the living room sometime in May and there I sat as the weather went from rainy to sunny to rainy again and finally another August had come. I watched him walk up to the door. He brought me food. He brought me pillows. He brought me movies. He rubbed my feet. He held my head. And when he couldn’t be there, she came. She came with food as well and light hearted conversations. I remember that one time she came with a comb. We had made plans to go to the club and she didn’t trust that I’d make it or I’d put in an effort.

3738. I walked in. She (a different she) helped me put my bags in. She had helped me find the place — I promised to name my first child after her. I must have mumbled that I wasn’t sure what to expect but that it was something. Finally! After a long time of searching, here was something. To myself, I said “I have plans. I can make this space safe.” But first, I unpacked. All the 3 suitcases I had lugged about for 2 years too scared to open and then I unpacked the hurt, pain and anxiety.

I was finally home at 3738.