Recent college graduate Hadley Echols finally has a job. Her first priority – find an affordable place to live. She thinks it’s hopeless until she sees an ad that at first seems like a joke: “THREE MONKS SEEK ROOMMATE.” She doesn’t know anything about monks, only that her new roomies are on a vow of silence and only communicate via text. Then there’s the slight problem of her finding one of them irresistible. To make matters worse, her new boss might be Satan incognito and her ex-flame is back.
Hi, Brother Davies! (They didn’t teach me what the proper term for addressing a monk is in school, so I Googled “How to address monk,” discovering that “brother” is the most often used term.)
I saw your ad on Craigslist. I don’t smoke and am drug-free. So, no worries there. I come from a big family and never got a moment’s peace, so a vow of silence sounds perfect to me. I don’t have any pets. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to all living things. Not a Buddhist, either, but I try to meditate. I don’t go around killing insects unless they’re in my bedroom. I’m honest and rather clean. Not like Pig-Pen, per se, but tend to keep things somewhat tidy. Interested in learning more. Just making sure this isn’t a joke, right? If it is, you should take the ad down as it wastes people’s time. Best Wishes, Hadley Echols.
Of course, after I hit “send,” I instantly regretted my ramblings. A simple, “Interested in learning more about home,” would have sufficed. And, “Per se?” Ugh. “Best Wishes?” What was I thinking?
A few minutes later, my phone pinged.
Hello, Hadley! Denny Davies here. No need to call me “Brother.” We’re not so formal in this household. Rest assured this is not a joke. I appreciate your concern for other people’s time. That tells me you’re a kind person, so we’re already off to a good start.
When you say you’re allergic to all living things, do you mean humans, too, like John Travolta in that movie Bubble Boy? Because that could pose a problem. PETA would be thankful for your gallant efforts to spare the lives of so many insects. Rest assured, we have our home sprayed each month, so no heroic gestures on your part will be necessary. A former roommate liked to eat in his room – that’s why there was a need for an exterminator. So, now that we’ve had this chat, when will be a good time for us to interview you? We prefer face-to-face so that you can see the place and so we can check your aura and make sure it’s copacetic with ours. Just kidding. I don’t even know how to check auras. Since you wished me the best, I’ll do the same! Best Wishes, to you, too, Hadley Echols!
A sarcastic monk? I thought they were all about the chi and peace and love. I texted him a response:
I currently do not live in a bubble and am not allergic to humans. Although I do have an aversion to grumpy people. I don’t eat in my room, either. I’ve always followed the rule that you should never eat where you sleep and go to the bathroom. I’m free tomorrow morning. Could we interview then? And, out of curiosity, how will we be interviewing since you all are on a vow of silence?
After a few minutes passed, he texted me back: Good rule to follow, Hadley! Even if it sparkles, there’s no bathroom floor I’d been eating on. And no problem about grumps. Sometimes Sherman, (one of your potential roommates) can be a little moody when he hasn’t had his coffee, but otherwise he’s easy to deal with. So long as we have coffee in stock, you should be good. Tomorrow morning around nine o’clock will work. We’ll be interviewing via text of course. Our address is 1817 Acushnet Circle Orlando, FL. See you then!
Shannon McCrimmon is the author of several novels, including The Summer I Learned To Dive and Kiss Me Hard Before You Go. She currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina with her husband and toy poodle. She’d love to hear from you. Connect with her at shannonmccrimmon.com