Dear Apt. 16,
I wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I arrived in Florida safely. I’m sorry that I couldn’t stay longer on that last day, when I had to turn in the keys. I really hate good-byes and didn’t want to drag out the inevitable.
I hope you know how hard it was for me to leave. We spent eight good years together and I did a lot of growing up during that time. I know it’s funny to hear a 54 year-old person say that, but I really grew a lot in the time we were together. When I came to you I had recently left a very tough life situation. I was emotionally and spiritually crushed and I cried a lot. There was so much healing ahead for me and you offered a refuge and a home that I could finally call my own. Because you are on the second floor, my daughter fondly named you “The Treehouse.” Being at the end of the building, you provided a nice, quiet atmosphere, away from the traffic of the entryway and stairwell. I and my three neighbors enjoyed a little cul de sac of sorts.
When I first came to look at you, I thought I would miss having a window in the kitchen, because I always had one before. I thought it would be difficult to store my belongings, since you had no basement or attic. Sharing the laundry with other people was a new experience that I had to get used to. I was concerned about noise and privacy with neighbors being in the next room, instead of the next house. In the beginning I had these doubts, but I got used to the changes and my new home.
Eight times I carved pumpkins, prepared Thanksgiving dishes to take to my parents house, decorated for Christmas, spring cleaned, and sat out on my little balcony during the summer. I celebrated many milestones with you: birthdays, one high school graduation, four college graduations, one law school graduation, and a wedding. There were some sad times, as well.
I loved coming home after work to the peace and quiet you provided. I enjoyed watching the wildlife and the seasons change through the sliding glass door. I loved mostly everything about living with you. My only real complaint was about the shower situation. If the downstairs neighbor flushed his toilet when I was taking a shower, I would be temporarily scalded. I know you remember, because it happened fairly often and I cussed a lot when it did. I’m sorry about that; I know it wasn’t your fault. I’m also sorry for the hair color that I dripped on the carpet outside the bathroom door. I went almost eight years without causing you any damage! I’m guessing they replaced the carpet after I left, since I got my full deposit back.
I do miss you a lot. I’m enjoying being with my children, but I feel a bit out of sorts, since I don’t have a place of my own yet. It feels like I’m here on vacation and that I’ll be returning to you soon. But, I won’t.
I’ve been wondering who is living with you now. Who is sleeping in my old bedroom. Do they miss having a window over the kitchen sink? Do they sit out on the balcony at night and look at the stars? Have they been scalded in the shower yet? I hope they appreciate and take care of you the way I did. You deserve it.
I wish you many more good years with all the people who will come to you and call you home. I hope that they grow and make happy memories with you like I did. I’ll never forget you and I hope you never forget me.
Luanne (Your Former Tenant)