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Realistic or Modern And They Were Roommates!


status: busy, thesis defense next week!

And They Were Roommates!
a 1x1 roleplay with Mentallynot Mentallynot

Nolan used to live with his girlfriend for two years, but then he discovered that she had been two-timing him for six months. Now, he asked her calmly to move out, having the two-bedroom apartment all by himself. The quiet solitude let him focus on his work as a game concept developer, however it can get lonely at times. But as rent prices in the city continued to climb, Nolan realized getting a roommate made financial sense. Though hesitant to give up his personal space, he hoped finding the right person would make cohabiting worthwhile.

After posting a roommate ad, Nolan received a flood of responses. Most respondents were not a fit. Nolan worked odd hours as a game developer and needed someone clean, quiet, and respectful. He despaired of finding a compatible roommate until Jack's reply arrived. Jack introduced himself as a part-time waiter and law student looking for an affordable place to stay. He included tidbits about enjoying cooking, keeping a tidy space, and being out of the apartment frequently for work and classes. Everything about Jack's communication indicated maturity, responsibility, and respect for boundaries.

They arranged a meeting at a coffee shop after replying to Jack's request. Nolan was pleasantly surprised to find Jack was easy-going with a kind demeanor. When Nolan explained his need for quiet while working from home, the two seemed to reach an agreement and now Jack is moving in with him.

He offered a ride to help Jack with his things, riding his blue Ford Ranger while blasting video game soundtracks on repeat. Nolan was focused on his driving while humming to some tavern inn tune, so the entire car ride was silent except for the tunes played. Once they reached the apartment, he helped him carry his boxes to Room 514 via elevator.

Once Nolan set the boxes on the hallway and opened the door to his apartment, he smiled politely to Jack, handing him his own key. "Welcome to our apartment," he said while grinning, his smile lines and crow's feet evident. He wanted to become warm and inviting even if he is an introvert, after all he will be living together with the taller man.

They both entered the apartment, the clean beige walls of the whole living room and dining area greeted them. Nolan picked up the boxes he carried once again to move it from the hallway to the living room. He set it down carefully and clapped his hands. He then opened the spare room for his new roommate, it still has the bedframe and mattress that he never bothered to move ever since his ex left. He looked at Jack, his enthusiastic grin now fading into a polite smile. "Make yourself feel at home. Let me know if you need something."

(OOC: I'm a bit bad in describing the place but this is how I imagine the apartment layout would be. Nolan's Room is connected to the balcony and has a bathroom of his own.)
Jack had been hoping to move into a new place since his old apartment was going to be renovated. He decided to just move out of his studio apartment altogether. He didn't expect to find a better place though and well luck seemed to be on his side when he found the ad he saw online. He didn't expect much and was simply on a time crunch to get moving. When he met the guy that put up ad, he noticed that the guy name was Nolan Hernandez. Jack also took notes of the rules the guy had and they all seemed pretty reasonable. Everything else seemed to fall in place right after, he got a ride even though he had his own but his car was at a friend's house so he figured why not. Jack was just in his good spirits, carrying the cardboard boxes full of his stuff which wasn't much, all of the furniture he had back in his apartment was already sold to his friends so he only needed to bring the essentials. Nolan was also very generous to offer him help with moving in which Jack was rather reluctant but thought it'd be rude if he refused.

"It's okay dude, I got it." He winked as he clicked his tongue while also haphazardly carrying the tall stack of boxes in his arms along the hallway with his bag hanging over his shoulder. Once Nolan opened the door and let him in, Jack just found himself letting out a whistle, letting the other know just how much of in awe he was. "This place is definitely better than what I had." Jack chuckled as he made his way over to his new bedroom. He put down the boxes and straighten his back while he looked around his room and the living room with his hands on his hips. "You always had this place to yourself or am I like your first roommate here?" Jack didn't really expect much of an answer, he was just trying to get to know more of his new roommate. "Oh by the way i heard you work as a game designer or something?" He thought it'd be a nice interesting question, he raised his brows at nolan, there was a clear interest displayed in the taller man's eyes.

Nolan smiled wistfully, a hint of bitterness evident in his eyes once Jack asked him about his previous roommate. He was following him with his eyes while Jack inspected his room and the living room. "Well... hmm... how do I say this?" he said wistfully to himself, thinking of how to say that he thought he was with the one but he got stabbed in the back. "I guess let's just say that my previous roommate broke my trust so I decided to live alone for a bit..."

He proceeded to the fridge to get himself a cold glass of water, gulping it when he realized he was actually thirsty from all the carrying he did. Or maybe he needed some water to drown out the bad memories from the past wound that was opened up because of an innocent question by his roommate?

"...then I realized that it would be a waste if I lived here alone, especially when rent prices are astronomical," he added.

Either way, Nolan placed the now-empty glass at the kitchen counter and the pitcher back to the fridge when Jack asked him another question.

"Oh, by the way... I heard you work as a game designer or something?" he asked. This made Nolan's mood a bit better compared to earlier since he really loved talking about his work. He went to the sofa and settled there to sit down.

"Yup, something like that! I work as a game concept developer," he said with a twinkle in his eyes. "I loved the fantasy genre ever since, so I decided 'why not work with it?' so here I am, working in GigaHex. Although I'm still far from climbing up the ranks to pitch my own ideas, I enjoy drawing and writing for the storyboards."

Now it's Nolan's turn to get to know his roommate better. They only got to the basics of introducing each other when they first met in the coffee shop, then they discussed about their house rules and schedules. And admittedly, he was actually a bit reserved so he didn't get a chance to ask Jack about himself.

"Uhh... how about you? You mentioned that you're a law student. I think it's a bit hard since you have to read mountains of paperwork and case digests to review for a single subject?" he asked, realizing how stereotypical he must have sounded now that the words came out of his mouth. "I mean... just why?" his voice raised higher than usual.

Nolan pinched the nose of his bridge since he felt he was digging his own grave of awkwardness. He was never a good conversationist after all, but he genuinely wanted to get to know the man who moved in with him. He cleared his throat, saying "I'm sorry, I'm awkward."
Jack just glanced at Nolan as he watched the other sat down on the couch. He decided to sit beside him. He wasn't tired or anything just thought it'd be best if he sat there instead of standing like a scarecrow in the middle of the living room. He gently combed his hair with his fingers while listening to how enthused Nolan was about his work. So much so it was rubbing off on Jack, he was curious as to what exactly makes it that exciting. The only thing Jack gotten close to the word "fantasy" was when he joined a short session of d&d. It was fun but he remembered taking the guidebook's rules far too literally, it was a habit when you've been learning pages upon pages about certain state laws. It was tedious but he needed to and to actually understand a case that correlates with it was something that Jack couldn't really get used to.

"That sounds really cool! I'd love to see your work sometimes." Jack spoke warmly, he wasn't sure if he would like it but he was willing to try and see what it was all about. As jack pulled himself to recline on the couch, he let his body sank into the cushions with his chin gently tucked in. He listened to the question that Nolan had for him. He turned his head over to the shorter male and noticed how there was a little tension in the air despite Jack was being his usual self. He figured Nolan wasn't the chatty kind and he felt bad for the other a little bit but it wasn't Jack's first time chatting to people that were solitary like Nolan. "Hey, don't sweat it. I'm just as nervous as you are. Wouldn't want you to kick me out before I get to try out living in this sweet place!" Jack chuckled as he teased Nolan a little, nudging his elbow a little into Nolan's arm.

"About your other question, I just chose it cause I needed it to be able to become a cop, well I'm applying for a certain spot. If all fails, I'll just be a lawyer. No biggie." Jack raised his arms for a bit before gently placing them back on his knees. "It's a lot of reading and thinking that's for sure but at the end of the day, you're negotiating and representing your client." Jack explained as he looked down to the table, he was thinking about his recent tasks that did involve with actually being a lawyer. "Oh, I'm usually handling domestic abuse cases and some divorce cases but recently I've been branching to business and even contracts. So, if people are making you sign some papers, you better have me go through them first." Jack stared at Nolan, his eyes widened a bit as he grimaced at the thought of possibly getting into a nasty legally binding contract like many big corporate companies had been doing. As Jack kept his big grin on his face, he looked around the apartment, he was hoping to see maybe some family pictures or something to tell him more of his roommate. "So, you got family? I mean you don't have to answer if you don't want to. Sometimes people are just complicated." Well Jack was more so referring to his own family, he was close with his grandparents, more so the retired cop friend of his grandfather's who helped him through his troubling teenage years. Jack remembered how much of an ass he was back in highschool to some people.

Nolan tensed up slightly as Jack sat down on the couch beside him. He wasn't used to such casual chitchat with a near stranger. But he tried to relax and respond positively to Jack's friendliness.

"Oh, uh, thanks for the interest in my work," Nolan said with an awkward laugh. "Game design can be pretty complex, lots of worldbuilding and character development. Not sure it would make much sense to an outsider."

Nolan appreciated Jack's enthusiasm but also worried his introverted personality made him a boring roommate. He was touched by Jack's reassurance that he was nervous too and didn't want Nolan to kick him out.

Turning the conversation to Jack's law studies, Nolan listened intently. He was impressed by Jack's motivation and the diversity of his casework. Nolan laughed at Jack's offer to review any confusing contracts.

"I'll be sure to bring any paperwork your way before making a deal with the devil, then," Nolan joked. He felt himself starting to relax and open up.

When Jack asked about family, Nolan hesitated briefly. He debated keeping details private but decided on honesty to build trust between them.

"My family situation is...complicated," he began slowly. "My Nanay is a sweet woman who worked as a caregiver while my Tatay worked as a ghostwriter for books. We used to be very close but when we flew here from the Philippines, I felt that we drifted as they focused more on work and providing for us. They even worked their asses off to the point that I never see them anymore and made sure that we all become citizens here. After all these years, I just grew indifferent towards them."

Nolan shrugged, aiming for nonchalance. "I got bullied a lot when I was in highschool, and despite my protests to get back to our country, they ignored me thinking that the white picket fence life or some bullshit like the American dream. So I moved out, and I get along fine on my own. But I'm sure glad that I found a nice, responsible roommate like you instead of some party animal," he added with a small grin.

Nolan hoped he hadn't shared too much. But Jack's friendly interest seemed genuine, without judgment. "How about you? How is your family life?"
Jack only smiled and pointed over to Nolan while cracking up a smile along with his usual wink when Nolan told him he would consult with him for any legal matters. Well mostly paperwork but still. But that wasn't what had Jack staring and fidgeting with his short nails, he would bite on them sometimes when his mind would focus on Nolan's words. He listened to every detail, it almost sounded similar to his own parents but even then he wouldn't really say they were that bad or were they? Nevertheless, he was sympathetic over it especially when Nolan mentioned being bullied in his high school years. "Welp, damn man that sounds rough." he muttered slapping his knee gently as he blew air to the loose strands of his curly hair that were dropping down to his eyes. He only nodded as he tucked his hair back with the brush of his palm while glancing back at Nolan with his lips thinned. He wasn't too sure about what Nolan said. If his roommate asked him back in his early years in college, a party was the only thing that Jack could think of in that particular part of his life.

So, he decided to make a joke about it. "You're lucky, I stopped a few years ago! Man, I was a wild kid back then. But in high school, I was the worst." Jack muttered as he pulled his phone out, his screen was a little bit cracked but he didn't bother to get it fixed and left it like that. He scrolled through his gallery and pulled a photo he had back when he first attended a frat party in his freshmen year. He was mostly wearing a black hoodie and his hair looked like it had seen better days due to how he would go a few days without washing his hair because he was lazy. In that picture, he was posing with some of the jocks as he did play soccer back in high school as a keeper. "I took this one back in my first year in college. I'd party until morning and go to work with a crazy hangover. Back then I got day shifts now I do night shifts." Jack explained while grinning as he showed the picture on the screen to Nolan. After showing Nolan the picture he began pulling up recent pictures he had of him and his grandparents along with his relatives. "Well, I was raised by my grandparents ever since I was a kid. My Gramps used to work at a farm before he sold it off, he usually brings me out to go fishing when it's not raining. As for my nana, she was a retiring nurse. She's pretty small but she will fight you. Oh, you should've seen her in her prime, she would chase after me and my cousins and I'll just say for the record, I was a good kid." Jack spoke as he expressed every part of the detail as if he were in a theatric play.

Just as he was scrolling through the pictures of him and his grandparents, he came across an old picture that he had back when he graduated high school. He was holding his high school diploma and he saw his parents holding his shoulders with a smile on their faces while he faked a smile among them when they took the photo. It was an awkward moment, his parents had just reconciled after being divorced for 10 years. He had almost forgotten he had parents when they stopped dropping by his grandparents' house to check up on him, he was just twelve back then. His smile dropped a little as he decided to open an old wound. "This was when I just finished High school, My parents were there but uh they didn't know their teenage son was a menace to society." He joked trying to make it less awkward for himself. Then, he scrolled to the next picture which was the only picture he had with the old man that pulled him off from being a complete waste back in high school. His grey hair was styled to a midpart and he had a great smile. As for Jack, he was wearing one of his favorite green lumberjack shirt in that photo with a glass of tea in hand. "And that's Detective George Dawson, he's the reason I got a scar on my jaw. I got super drunk one late night and I think I was throwing rocks at my dad's car when he wasn't home. I don't really remember what happened but he said I tripped and fell like an idiot. To this day I still think he pushed me down onto the curb because I was trying to punch the shit out of him." Jack laughed, it seemed like it was worse than it was but really he remembered just being a complete mess when he wasn't around his grandparents. He smiled a little as he gently rubbed his fingers over the small faded scar on his jaw.

Nolan listened intently as Jack opened up about his past, showing old photos and sharing stories. He laughed along with Jack's tales of youthful misadventures, though he couldn't personally relate to that wild party lifestyle.

"Man, you were really living it up back then! I was definitely more low-key in high school and college. Mostly kept to myself and a few close friends," Nolan said.

He smiled looking at the pictures of Jack with his grandparents. "They seem like really loving people who helped keep you grounded. Having that kind of supportive family is so important," he added sincerely.

When Jack showed the awkward graduation photo with his estranged parents, Nolan nodded sympathetically. "I get that strained family dynamic. Looks like you've worked hard to move forward though."

Nolan chuckled hearing about the scar-causing run-in with Detective Dawson. "Well, at least he cared enough to set you straight. And hey - chicks dig scars, right?" Nolan joked.

"It's really cool you felt comfortable enough to share all this with me," Nolan continued seriously. "I know opening up about the past isn't always easy, but it helps me understand where you're coming from. And don't worry, your secret menace days are safe with me," he added with a grin.

Nolan realized that despite their differences, he and Jack both longed for connection. He was glad the roommate ad brought someone so open and friendly into his formerly solitary world.

"I hope we can keep getting to know each other better as roommates and maybe friends too. You're definitely the kind of person my younger self could've used in his life. Even if I can't party as hard as you did back in the day!" Nolan said sincerely, now standing up. "But I guess I have to prepare for dinner now."
Jack just nodded, he took some pride in what Nolan said about his wild past. Though he wasn't exactly sure if his careless attitude back then would be a good thing for them both. He just tidied his hair and tossed his phone into the air before catching it with his hand. "Hahaha, I mean I used to date this one girl a couple of years ago. It was a pretty good year but uh things got rough so who knows? Maybe this scar is my lucky charm or curse." Jack muttered as he chuckled, pointing over his scar while he watched Nolan comment about how he thought it was good that Jack was sharing some personal stuff. Jack had always been pretty open with his personal life, well only recently as he figured it was a good thing to share especially if there was a chance the chatty male would bring the other to a party. Well, baby steps...

Jack noticed the lack of sunlight from the windows. He didn't think that the sun was setting already. "Need a hand? I mean I'm no home cook but I won't burn your apartment down." Jack laughed as he pulled himself off the couch and held his phone in one hand. Before he started making his way to the kitchen, he remembered something he got as a birthday present last year. He quickly found himself grinning as he pulled out an apron from one of the cardboard boxes. It was a black apron with Gordon Ramsey's face on it. "Now we're cooking!" Jack said aloud as he put the apron on, his fingers tying a knot over his back while grinning with his teeth.

Nolan laughed as Jack enthusiastically donned the Gordon Ramsey apron, ready to help with dinner.

"That apron suits you perfectly! Between that and your law skills, you're all set to rule the kitchen courtroom," Nolan joked.

He was genuinely touched by Jack's offer to help cook. Nolan usually relied on delivery or quick microwaved meals when left to his own devices. Having a roommate who enjoyed preparing food was an unexpected perk, but a welcome one nonetheless.

"I really appreciate you being open to handling dinner tonight. My culinary expertise is pretty limited," Nolan admitted. "Maybe you can teach me some basics so I don't poison us both," he added with a chuckle.

Nolan led the way to the modest but tidy kitchen. He opened the fridge and pantry so Jack could survey their options.

"I try to keep it stocked with basics—rice, pasta, sauces, veggies, eggs. Oh and I just grabbed some chicken thighs yesterday too. Not too much to work with but feel free to get creative!" Nolan suggested.

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