Fear The Dawn: Chapter 21

The next few weeks were among the best of Aidan's life. Nisha visited him at his apartment a lot now, and she spent the night there a few times a week. Nothing made him happier than to wake up and see her smiling face, and he made sure to tell her that every chance he got. Today was one of those mornings, the alarm went off right at 6:30 sharp, and he quickly reached over to shut it off. Nisha stirred a little, and he gently put his hand on her side as he watched her come awake.
Good morning”, she mumbled, still half-asleep.
Good morning sweetie”, he said, giving her a little kiss on the forehead. “Do you want to join me for breakfast?”
I still need my sleep”, she said, giving him a little squeeze before settling back into her pillow. She still took the train an hour later, and rarely got up when he did. “You keep me up too late at night”.
Hey, I was ready to go to sleep at 11:00 last night”, he teased, resetting the alarm. “There's fruit in the fridge, make sure to lock up when you head out.”
Mm-hmm”, she was already asleep again. He patted her side and tucked her back in as he climbed out of the bed. He had a quick shower, packed his things, ate a bowl of cereal, and quietly let himself out of the apartment.

It was a bright and sunny morning today. The sun was starting to rise a little earlier, so he no longer had to walk to the train station in the dark, and that made the mornings seem a lot less oppressive. Work had been going pretty smoothly as well, even though he had been getting a bit less sleep he had a lot more energy and the possibility of that promotion was helping him to stay motivated. The weekend was coming, too, and now that he was with her he looked forward to his weekends a lot more.

The train was quiet today, perhaps now that spring had arrived more people were on vacation, or maybe they just wanted to stay in bed like she did. He wondered how many of the other people on the train had someone waiting for them at home. Some of the older men probably did, but no one else on the train seemed to radiate the same happiness he felt, they were just staring forward, out the window, or quietly reading something or other. “That was me a few months ago”, he thought. Things had improved so much for him since then that he could hardly imagine going back to his old life. He opened the paper he bought back at the station and went straight to the comics page, laughing aloud at a particularly funny joke.

Good morning, Aidan”, Nicole greeted him as he entered the building. With all the excitement surrounding his own relationship he had hardly given any thought to Dan and Nicole's date. Dan had called it a disaster but had refused to say anything more than that. Nicole's demeanour towards Aidan hadn't changed, but Dan had mostly been avoiding her since then. “Good morning”, he replied, not wanting to get involved. He took the elevator up to his floor, visited the coffee machine, and sat down at his desk. There was another big stack of papers waiting for him today, a lot of home loans, this was always a hot time of year for the real estate market. Unfortunately, home loans were also the source of most defaults, so he had a lot of cases to track down this time of year. He plucked the top sheet off his stack and went straight to work.

Aidan was about to place a call to the western branch when his boss dropped by. He seemed to be in an especially jolly mood this morning.
Good morning, my boy”, he said, not seeming to notice the phone in his hand. “Today's a big day! There's a big management meeting this afternoon, I suspect we'll find out more about the changes to the leadership structure. Who knows, if all goes well, I might not be your boss for much longer.”
I'll keep my fingers crossed”, he replied instinctively before realizing that sounded a little harsh.
Ha ha, I'm sure you will. But who knows, you might get my old position, and then I'll be your boss forever.”
That would be fine with me, sir.”
Yes, I'm sure you'd enjoy a promotion, who wouldn't, eh? Well, back to work, I'll keep you posted.”
He left, and Aidan went back to his phone call. He was pretty excited too, so it didn't even really bother him that no one seemed to be awake at the western branch. He could always call them again later, or if he got that promotion he could get someone else to call them for him. He ploughed through his in pile and the morning just seemed to zip by.

You look really happy today”, Dan remarked as Aidan arrived at their lunch table. Dan himself had not been in particularly high spirits ever since that date.
Yeah, it's been a good morning. Keep this under your hat, but there might be a management position opening up in my department soon.”
Sheesh, could you have any more luck? There's no room for advancement in accounting, as always. My life is a disaster.”
He shrugged. “Your life doesn't seem so bad. You live at home, make decent money, don't have many responsibilities...”
That's just it”, Dan said, cutting him off, “I'm still a child. Other people are furthering their career or their love lives, and nothing has really changed for me since high school. When I went out with Nicole, it was obvious that there was a huge difference between us. I just wasn't ready at all for any of it.”
So why don't you do the adult thing now and talk to her? You shouldn't go out with someone and then just avoid them.”
There's no point, I have nothing to offer her.”
Well, she seemed to enjoy talking to you before. Her life also sounds like it's kind of a mess, maybe you can commiserate.”
Her life isn't a mess at all, she may be a single parent but her life is way better put together than mine.”
So what's the deal with her kid? Is she divorced?”
Never married. She had her son in college, and she had to drop out and take this job to support him.”
What about the father?”
Seems like he's not in the picture. Didn't want much to do with her or the kid, I take it. Not much help from her family, either.”
That sounds pretty rough.”
Maybe it was at first, but she's done a good job of raising her son since then. Now that he's a bit older, she's even taking courses on the weekend so she can finally get her diploma and get a better job. She's really smart and responsible, she's not just a pretty face.”
Sounds to me like you two had a good talk and you still like her.”
Dan shook his head. “You don't get it. She needs a father for her son. I just wanted to go out with her because she's super hot.”
I don't think that's all you like about her, and she wanted to go out with you, too. Even if her situation is a bit difficult, she would probably still like to meet someone who cares about her..”
See, this is why I didn't want to talk about it. You're just going to talk me into saying something stupid again.”
Well, it's all up to you, but your life isn't just going to take off on its own.”
Can we just eat?”, Dan said, wanting to change the subject. They ate the rest of their lunch in silence.

With his boss away at the management meeting, the afternoon was very quiet. The silence was broken a few times when Aidan had to place a phone call, but other than that it seemed as though the entire floor was waiting to hear the news. Did the rest of them know about it? Aidan wondered if he would be competing with all of his co-workers, as well. He tried to put the thought out of his mind and focus on filling out his paperwork, but he just couldn't keep his mind from wandering. He glanced down at his watch again, wondering when the meeting would be over.

4:00 came and went with no word from his boss. “Perhaps he's gotten the promotion and there's more work to be done”, he thought. He stared at his in pile, which was still fairly large. He had to get at least some of it done or he'd have to stay late tonight, and Nisha would probably go back home if he wasn't on the train. He forced himself to fill out a few more papers while stealing occasional glances at his boss's office.

His door was still closed at 5:00. This time, Aidan got up from his desk, walked to his office, and peered in the window. To his surprise, his boss was inside, sorting through some papers in his filing cabinet. Not able to withstand the suspense any longer, he knocked on the door.
There was no immediate reply. He continued fiddling around with his files for a moment, before finally closing the drawer. Aidan gently knocked on the door again. “All right, come in”, he replied, finally.
Aidan quietly shut the door behind him and sat down. “Bad news, sir?”
I'm afraid so”, he replied, and Aidan's heart sank. “It's going to take forever to pack up all of these documents for my new office.”
...Your new office? Then... you got it?”
Yes, my boy, I got it! Ha hah!” His boss did a triumphant little dance, and Aidan leapt out of his chair to shake his hand.
I wasn't supposed to say anything until they make the formal announcement”, he continued, “but I just couldn't keep it bottled up any longer.”
So then have you decided who will replace you?” Aidan asked, hopefully.
That's not my call to make”, he said, shaking his head, “but keep getting all your work done and I'll put in a good word for you when the time comes.”
Congratulations again, sir, it has been a pleasure working for you”.
I'm not leaving right this moment, my boy”, he chuckled, “you won't be rid of me that easily. Still, quite a way to end the week, eh?”
It definitely was. Everything was finally starting to come together. If he could get this promotion and work everything out with Nisha he'd be set for a long time. Unfortunately, he still had a lot of work to get done, and he was even less focused on it now. All he wanted to do now was see Nisha and tell her the good news. When 6:00 came, he still had a fair bit of work left to do, but he didn't want to miss her, so he just slipped what was left from his in pile into his desk. “I'm sure my boss would understand just this once”, he thought as he packed his briefcase and headed for the elevator.

Aidan arrived in the lobby just in time to catch part of an awkward conversation between Dan and Nicole. He didn't want to eavesdrop, but he couldn't help but overhear some of it on his way out.
I'm really sorry about how I acted when we went out”, Dan said, scratching the back of his neck nervously.
It's all right”, she replied. “When I realized you didn't know, I kind of figured things would go like that.”
I admit, it caught me completely off-guard, but still, there's no excuse for how I acted. You're always so well-composed, I just felt really inadequate next to you.”
It scared the hell out of me at first, too, I've just gotten used to it.”
I know”, he nodded, “I've kind of gotten used to the idea too, and I realize that I still really like you. Would you let me take you out again, now that I've smartened up a little?”
Sure”, she smiled, “how about Sunday?”
Aidan left the two of them in peace and left the building.

It was a cool spring evening, the sun was just starting to set, leaving the cloudy sky a kind of blue-grey colour. He felt a few drops of rain on his cheek and hurried along to the train station. It was quite busy now, all of the stores were packed, perhaps simply because people wanted to get inside before it rained. He wasted no time getting to his train, it still wasn't raining hard by the time he got to his platform, but the sky was getting darker and more threatening all the time. He was very relieved to see that Nisha was already on the train ahead of him. She greeted him with a hug, and he responded with a kiss on the cheek.
I've got great news today!” he beamed.
Oh?” she enquired. He told her all about his boss's promotion and the opportunity that created for him.
I hope you're not busy tonight”, he finished.
I was going to have dinner with my parents, but I suppose you want to go out and celebrate?”
Actually, I'd like to take you back to my apartment and celebrate”, he whispered, kissing her neck.
How's that any different from any other night?”, she asked, rolling her eyes a little.
We don't have to work tomorrow, so we've got all night to have fun”, he grinned, kissing her again. “Besides, look out the window, would you really want to go somewhere in this weather?”
I suppose not”, she said, “but if I'm giving up my dinner I want something to eat that doesn't come from the microwave.”
Don't worry”, he said, snuggling up to her, “I'm sure we'll find something”. He loved it when she sat next to the window, he had far more choice in where to put his hands.
You guys are all the same”, she sighed, snuggling up to him.

It was raining pretty hard by the time the train pulled into the station. They hurried off the platform to avoid getting soaked.
I guess we're eating here”, he remarked after they got inside. Luckily, the local station was not too busy, there were places where they could get food without a terrible lineup. “How about the coffee shop? They've got soup and sandwiches.”
It wasn't the most romantic place to eat, but they didn't really have a lot of choice. They placed their orders, picked up their food, and sat down a table.
You know, this is where we went on our first date”.
I remember”, she said. “It's been a while, hasn't it?”
Yeah. It's been wonderful, Nish, I'm very happy.”
I'm happy too. I'm glad I took a chance on you.”
Was that such a difficult thing?”
Well, some of my previous relationships didn't go so well.” She looked away. He had always kind of figured that, she was obviously more experienced than he was but she never talked about any of her previous boyfriends and he didn't care to ask.
I'm glad to be the exception”, he said, sipping his soup. “So where do you want this relationship to go? Do you see the two of us getting married some day?”
I don't know”, she said, “but I'm starting to think I might like that.”
I don't mind telling you that that's what I'm hoping for. But I suppose you already knew that, right?”
She gave him a warm smile. “Thanks Aidan, I'm really glad you feel that way.”
I'm surprised, you always seem to know what I'm thinking.”
I have some idea, but it's nice to hear it from you sometimes.”
They finished up their meal and left the station. It had stopped raining for the moment.
So now how about I take you home and show you how I feel about you?” he asked, playfully.
Oh Aidan”, she smiled, “you're such a good little boy, but if you think I'm waiting that long after what you just told me you've still got a lot to learn.” She lead him to a quiet spot, secluded from the road, and they did it right then and there, under the cloudy sky. It started to rain again, but they didn't care, they had each other. Afterwards, they hurried back to his apartment to continue what they had started. They tore off their wet clothes and enjoyed a wild night together, a celebration of young love and passion.

They woke up late the next morning. Nisha quickly excused herself to have a shower while Aidan set about making breakfast. He had just finished cutting up an apple and buttering some toast when Nisha got out of the shower. She was already fully dressed, to his slight disappointment. She sat down at the small table they used for meals and started to eat.
Are you going to stay here today?” he asked.
I could. What do you want to do?”
Well, I figured we could cuddle up and watch tv, spend a lot of time in bed, maybe go out for some groceries later...”
She looked him over out of the corner of her eye. He was only wearing a pair of boxer shorts, he hadn't bothered to get dressed yet, and today it seemed like she wasn't totally satisfied with that. “That's pretty much all we do when I'm here. You don't just want me here for sex, do you?”
Of course not. I love you, and it always makes me happy to have you around, regardless of what we're doing. I'm just afraid that my life wasn't ever all that exciting. Before I met you I spent most Saturdays cleaning the apartment and washing my clothes.”
Aww, I know sweetie, but we can't spend all our Saturdays hanging around here. Let's go out today.”
All right, do you want to go for a walk and then catch a movie?”
I was thinking of something a bit more extravagant than that. How about we go downtown today? There's so much more to see and do in the city than there is here.”
He hadn't been expecting that, but he could tell she really wanted it. “Sure, that sounds great. I guess I'd better go put some pants on, huh?”
There's no rush”, she said, batting her eyes at him, “we don't have to leave for a little while yet”, and as it turned out, he got to do what he wanted that morning as well.

Even though he had taken this train into the city every day for many years now, it felt totally different this morning. His morning commute was usually a quiet affair that gave him a little time to relax and plan for the day ahead. Today, he felt equal parts excited and anxious, and they had no plans at all for the whole day. He had tried asking Nisha what she would like to do once they got there, but she said that the best part about being in the city was they could decide when they got there. He took a deep breath and gave her a squeeze. As long as she was with him, it would be all right, he had nothing to worry about as long as she loved him.

The train pulled into the station a little after noon. The station wasn't quite as packed as it sometimes was, but it seemed far livelier than usual, people were talking and laughing as they moved to and fro, a far cry from the slow-moving throng of a regular workday. Nisha really seemed to be drinking it all in, and seeing her in good spirits made him happy, too. They walked together hand in hand through the terminal and out the main doors and were bathed in the light of a warm spring afternoon.
As his eyes adjusted to the light, Aidan could have sworn he was standing in a completely different city. The streets were lined with shops that he had never paid any attention to on his way to and from work.
It was kind of shocking to see just how many places he didn't recognize at all, even after all this time. They crossed to the opposite side of the street from the one he took to get to his office building and started down the first line of shops.
So, what do you want to do first?”
Ice cream!” she decided instantly, pulling him into a nearby shop. Despite the bright sun, it really wasn't too warm today, but that didn't seem to deter her enthusiasm. Aidan looked through the display case, trying to figure out what to order.
What would you like, miss?”, the server asked.
One vanilla in a sugar cone.”
Vanilla?”, he asked, looking up from the case. “That's like the water of ice cream.”
I like it”, she said, accepting the cone. “You're pretty vanilla yourself.”
Aidan settled upon a flavor that was a swirl of three different colours. He didn't press the issue further, but he did find it strange that someone would have so much enthusiasm for something so plain.

The next store she wanted to go into was a souvenir shop that had a ton of strange items inside. There were a few t-shirts, hats, buttons, and other basic collectables, but what drew Nisha's attention were the photographs and a display of locally produced arts and crafts.
Take a look at this, Aidan, they paint this right on top of the glass.”
Do they have to do each one by hand?”
Well, I don't think so, they probably do one and the rest are done by a machine, but still, it's a really interesting aesthetic.”
He wandered over to the next section, which had a few bins full of pictures framed in cardboard.
Ooh, I'll want to look through those”, she said, thumbing through them, but something else caught his eye. There was a rotating display of wooden plaques with funny captions on them.
Hey, take a look at this one, Nish: 'We had to get rid of the kids, the cat was allergic”. There was a picture of a cat who really didn't look very upset about it.
I don't really find it very funny.” She said, looking over.
Or how about this one: 'My wife wants me to get more exercise, so I resolved to stop eating on the toilet'.”
That's just gross.”
She went back to looking through the pictures while he enjoyed the rest of them. In the end, she picked out one little print she liked from the pile and bought it. She had a little chat with the owner, it turned out he knew the artist who had created it, and she seemed really interested in that.
Are you going to hang that up in the apartment?” he asked her after they got back outside.
Well...” she said, shyly, “I didn't really think you'd have much interest in it.”
Even if I didn't, it's your place too, now.”
She smiled. “Thanks. Maybe I will.”
That's great,”, he said, reaching behind his back. “It'll go perfectly with my new plaque.”
Oh no, you didn't buy that thing, did you?”, she looked mortified.
No, I'm kidding”, he said, revealing his empty hands. She laughed. He took her arm again and they continued on their way.

They visited a few more shops along that street and the next. A lot of them were clothing shops, which really wasn't very interesting for him, the prospect of watching her try on new things seemed exciting at first but after the fourth pair of shoes his enthusiasm had almost totally waned. The all-female staff regarded him with a certain knowing sympathy but other than that his presence there was barely acknowledged. Nisha asked him for his opinion a few times but she could see he wasn't having a great time so she didn't linger too long. Afterwards they went for a stroll through the park, which he enjoyed a lot more. There wasn't really a ton to see there yet, most of the flowers were still just stalks and buds, but it gave them a chance to relax and talk and he enjoyed having a moment to just be with her. They sat down on a bench near a little fountain for a short rest.
This place is really beautiful in the summer, I sometimes come here on my lunch break.”
It's a little barren today, but I hope you're having a good time anyway.”
Oh yes”, she said, snuggling up to him. “This is so much better. Thanks for coming out today.”
They stayed there for a little while, just enjoying the fresh air, but the sun was starting to go down a bit, so eventually they decided to press on.
So what do you want to do now?”, he asked.
Now I want to know what it is you'd like to do”, she said, poking him in the chest with her finger.
He shrugged. “Well, right now I am a little hungry, let's see if we can find something to eat.”
After you”, she said, falling in step beside him.

There were just as many places to eat as there were to shop. At first he considering going to Carlson's, but they were trying new things today, so he forced himself to look for something new. They continued walking, past where he worked, but he couldn't make up his mind on where to go. Finally he spotted something that caught his eye. He dismissed it almost immediately, it was a crazy idea, not the kind of place one would ever take a date. But then he turned back to look at her, and he started to reconsider it. He wasn't just on a date, he loved this woman with all his heart and wanted to spend his life with her. She had asked him to choose something because she wanted to share in his life, too.
This is the place”, he said.
A bar?” she asked. “What made you choose this one?”
This place is kind of famous in the comedy world”, he said sheepishly, there was no going back now. “A lot of people who went on to become pretty famous started out here.”
She glanced at the sign on the window, which was advertising the comedian who would be performing stand-up that evening. “Do you know this guy?”
No”, he admitted, “but I've always kind of wanted to come here.”
He was worried that she'd say no. It was ridiculous and impulsive, but she brought that out in him. He was getting ready to suggest something else when she surprised him again.
Sure, why not?”, she said. “We're trying new things today.”

It was very busy. They were informed that they'd have to wait for a table, and he immediately started to regret his decision, but as luck would have it an act was just coming to an end and a lot of tables opened up. The main area was just one large room with a very high ceiling filled with small round tables and a stage at one end. Apart from the stage, it was fairly dark, but he could tell the decor was not fancy, their table was adorned very plainly with a single candle and a simple tablecloth, and the seats were small and not very comfortable. Despite it all, however, Aidan was very excited to finally see it. A waitress gave them some menus and told them the next show would start in 15 minutes, and he could hardly contain himself.

Their food arrived just before the comic took the stage. He was a rather big man with a strong, slightly sarcastic voice. He spent a few minutes making the usual pleasantries with the crowd, then began his act. The first part was about dealing with the government. Apparently, they had misread his passport application, and misspelled his name as “Gorge Simon”.
Now I know I'm a big man”, he said, “but did it not occur to you that might be missing an 'e'?”.
I'm very sorry, Mr. Simone”, he imitated, in a squeaky voice, “I'll have that fixed for you right away.” He tried for quite some time to convince them that his name was actually George, but unfortunately his driver's license had a grease stain on it, and his health card just said “Fat Man”. “The health department is getting really pushy about this obesity epidemic”. In the end, they got it sorted out, and she gave him his passport and the passport for his wife, “Naggie Simon”.
I was so relieved they didn't screw that one up too”, he finished, to great applause.

The food wasn't anything spectacular, Aidan was having some ravioli that might well have come from a can, but he was really enjoying himself. He was a bit worried that Nisha wouldn't have fun, particularly when the second part turned out to be about “the difference between men and women”, but she seemed to be doing all right, she even laughed a few times. “Men and women see favours very differently. When a man does a favour for a woman, it's always to get sex”. “Not tonight, I'm tired”, he said, in a whiny voice. “But I did the dishes tonight!”. The crowd laughed. “But when a woman does a favour for a man, it's for the exact opposite reason”.
Hey sweetie, how about a little sugar”, he said, making a scratching motion with his finger.
There's cake in the fridge, you can have a slice.” He then mimed himself eating a slice of cake. “So worth it”, he mumbled, as though his mouth was full. Nisha quite enjoyed that one.

That was interesting”, she said afterwards. “I've never done anything like that before.”
Neither have I. I always wanted to, I just never had the initiative to go”. He paused for a moment, this was something that hadn't been part of his life for a long time. “There was a time, a long time ago, when I wanted to be a comedian. I always really enjoyed making people laugh, and I was pretty good at it, too. But it's a really hard business to get into, until you get really well-known you're always fighting to find your next gig, you don't get paid very much, and a lot of people never make it. So in the end I decided to pursue a more stable career instead.”
I kind of understand”, she replied. “I always wanted to be an artist. Graphic design is a safe field to be in, there's no shortage of work and it's kind of interesting, but deep down I wish I could be doing my own thing. That's why I have a lot of respect for people who are putting themselves out there and selling their own art, and I like to support them when I can.”
Your stuff is really good. I hope you'll get your chance someday.”
Thanks”, she replied, “so do I.”
I used to do a comic for the school newspaper. Maybe I'll show you some of my old work sometime.”
You draw?”, she asked, incredulously. “That I'd like to see.”
He chuckled and wrapped his arm around her. “I love you, Nisha”, he said, kissing her.
I love you too.”
Ready to head home?”
Yeah”, she nodded, “it'll be pretty late by the time we get back. Today was wonderful, it's too bad we can't do this more often.”
Well, we could maybe spend a little time here after work sometimes, but it's a pretty long commute.”
Yeah”, she sighed. “It must be nice to live here, you'd have so much more free time and there'd be so much to do.” She glanced up at a highrise building.
They're always putting up new buildings”, he mused idly. “This one's having an open house today, do you want to go have a look?”
Now?”, she asked, surprised.
Why not? It'll be fun.”

The lobby of the big white building was really elaborately furnished. There was a lounge just inside the main entrance, complete with tables and a coffee bar, and the hallway leading to the elevator was flanked on both sides by tall glass windows overlooking twin gardens outside.
The open house is on the 12th floor”, he noted.
This place is ridiculously fancy”, she whispered. “I can't even imagine what it would cost to live here.”
Another couple was just leaving as they found their way to the room where the open house was taking place. The agent was standing by the door and showed them in.
Wow”, Nisha quipped in amazement as they stepped inside. The room was easily the size of the upstairs floor of her house, divided into several sections by partial walls. At the front of the condo was a full kitchen with a dining area on the other side of the door, and towards the back there were two rooms, one done up as a living room and one as a study. Nisha walked up to the window, from which there was a marvellous view of the entire city. Aidan was more interested in the kitchen, which was big enough that you could open the fridge even if you were standing in front of it.
There was another room off to the side, this time separated by a door, that lead to the bedroom. It was also very large, with a full queen-size bed facing the entrance wall. There was a table on that side, and even then there was at least two feet of space between the end of the bed and the table, and there was also a pair of chairs, a coffee table, and a few bookshelves along the wall.
You could put a TV here”, Aidan noted happily, “we'd never have to get out of bed!” Nisha rolled her eyes at him, knowingly, but he could tell she was very impressed as well.
And through here you'll see the master bathroom”, the agent said, leading them through an open doorway. “It's been completely redone in marble, as you'll notice.”
Nisha's jaw nearly hit the floor. “Aidan, Look, it has a sauna! In a condo!”
Of course there is also a second bathroom in the main area, beside the kitchen”.
Two bathrooms? That's crazy talk.”
The agent gave him a funny look and lead them back to the main area. “Feel free to take another look around if you like.”
Dare I even ask how much they're asking for it?”, Nisha wondered aloud.
The agent handed her a little slip of paper.
Oh my goodness”, she said, looking at the quoted figure. It must have been even bigger than she imagined.
That does include utilities”, the agent assured her. Aidan looked it over. Based on his current salary, it would also have to include meals, clothing, and entertainment, and he'd probably still need a raise.
“I'm afraid that's a bit out of our price range”, he said, politely. “Thank you for showing us around, though.”
The agent courteously saw them out but he was probably unhappy to have wasted his time on a couple of peasants like them.
The rich really know how to live”, she said as they walked back through the elaborate hallway towards the exit.
I don't know”, he said, “for what you're getting the price really isn't that unreasonable. It's not just a student home, you could live there for a long time.”
I'm not quite sure how much money you make”, she said, “but with my salary I'd be paying for that until I was a thousand.”
He laughed. “Not enough, it's true.”
Well, I'm about ready to call it a day”, she said, yawning. It was already dark outside. “Let's head back.”
He nodded and took her arm. “This was certainly a lot more interesting than just staying inside all day, I'm glad we came out.”

They soon arrived back at the station and boarded the train heading back to their town. Nisha was really worn out, she was dozing off on his shoulder just as soon as the train pulled out of the station. Aidan, however, was wide awake, he was still thinking about what they had seen earlier.
I'll get that promotion”, he resolved to himself, gently rubbing her shoulder, “then we could afford to live together in the city”. He closed his eyes and squeezed her close to him. “And when we move in, I'm going to ask you to marry me.”

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