"Hey Jin, you here," I hollered into the apartment. It looked like a tornado, a bull in a china shop... I don't know. It was a mess. I had never seen anyone's apartment look like this. I hadn't seen many apartments, but I knew they shouldn't be this messy. How does Jin live like this? I don't know if he's a hoarder or he's just lazy.

Jin suggested I move into his place with him since it was closer to the city. I'd also be more used to it than Vivian and Naomi's mansion. They claim it isn't a mansion but I know a mansion when I see one. This was not a mansion. I'm not sure it was an apartment either. There's no real furnishings. I don't know why I expected Jin to be normal. Nothing about him has screamed normal to me. He has patio furniture in his apartment. Patio furniture? I'm not sure I can live here.

I feel my shoe peel off the floor. I stepped in some sort of green goo. I don't even want to know what it is. Probably one of Jin's crazy experiments. Actually I'm sure it's one of his crazy experiments. Loads of other half finished experiments litter the floor of his apartment. This isn't right for me. I'm from Wyoming. I've got no business in Oakland, I don't know why he's in Oakland either.

"Hey Devonte, I'm back here," Jin calls out to me from a hallway. I was really starting to hope he wasn't here. That way I wouldn't have to hurt his feelings by telling him I can't stay. I want to go back to the mansion. Viv and Naomi have a chef and a pool.

I sigh and head back through the hallway. Stepping over more and more broken and half completed projects. At least there's no bad smell in the air. I would have gagged if there was. I pass the first room, the door is closed. I'm guessing that's his bedroom. He's ashamed of the mess in there, but not the living room or kitchen? I peer into the bathroom and to my surprise, it isn't bad at all. Could use a new shower curtain, but not bad.

I finally approach the end of the hall and my heart drops. Jin is waiting for me, covered and sweat and looking out of breath. The room is completely empty. The closet is open and is just as empty as the rest of the room. The carpet is free of the stains covering the rest of the place. Did he clean this up for me? There's no furniture, but screw it, you can buy a bed. This is Oakland, I'm sure one fell off a truck somewhere.

"Hey, sorry about the mess, I didn't think you were serious when you said you'd move in with me. I did get your room clean," he says finally catching his breath.

"Thanks, we can clean up the rest later," I respond with more honesty than I expected.

"Great because I'm tired," he says collapsing onto the floor with a smile.

"Let's order a pizza," and eat it in my room because the rest of the place is a no go.


Read about how Jin and Devonte in Phantasmagorical.
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