No Speaka English

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When three best guy friends from college move in together, the bond is inseparable. So, one moves away, whoever takes his place has big shoes to fill.  Knowing no one could ever live up to our expectations, we took a gamble on a Craigslist chick – for the purposes of this story, we’ll call her Jessica. She seemed totally normal, enough – worked at a fashion boutique during the day, walked around our apartment in a bikini (even in the middle of winter) at night.  Like I said, totally normal…

One month, Jessica’s rent check bounced. Somewhat apologetic, she assured us it wouldn’t happen again. But, then not only did it bounce again, she gave us a little something extra that month along with her check – she left. 

When I learned about her self-exile from our apartment, I was hanging out with my Grandma. My roommate called, screaming that I had to come home immediately: “You are never going to believe what she did!”  Even though a pit formed in my stomach, I needed to know now. “Just tell me!” I told him, “I’m at my Grandma’s.”

“Jessica left the apartment,” my roommate said, sounding dumbfounded. “What do you mean, she left? She went to the gym, to run errands?” I asked for clarification.  Our interaction sounded a lot like Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First Routine.” “No, like, dude, she actually moved out and took all our stuff with her,” he screeched into the phone.

It’s not like we had an apartment furnished with Crate and Barrel, it was mostly hand me downs or Ikea assembled. But, seriously, it was more the realization: we had lived with this girl, trusted her, and she took everything– even our old crappy tv, I mean,seriously, it probably cost more to move than what it was worth.

We tried reaching Jessica, but she didn’t respond. She had probably fled the state. But, the secret detective in me couldn’t give up quite so easily, so somehow I tracked down her father. When he answered the phone, I explained to him what had happened. His reaction was far different than what I had expected! “Damnit! She did it again!” he screamed, “listen, I’m sorry, but I can’t bail her out again. I can’t pay you guys, I don’t know what her problem is, but this keeps happening.” Confused, I hung up the phone, broke the news to my roommate, wondering what if we had called him as a reference before she moved in. We swallowed the loss and moved on, gunshy as we searched for another roommate.

Narrowed down to two options from Craigslist again (Jessica hadn’t given us much choice with her quick departure), we compared and contrasted Option 1- the stripper and Option 2 – the consultant with the girlfriend. The realists in us knew we had to go with the consultant, however, it wasn’t an easy choice. The consultant wound up paying his bills, he just walked around the apartment in a lot of spandex. Totally normal, right? 

Fast forward, two years later, I’m walking down the street and I recognize a familiar face. My heart rate picks up because I realize, it’s Jessica. This can’t be possible. I start to follow her down the streets of the East Village. Instead of approaching her immediately,  I call my old roommate: “Dude, you are never going to believe who is walking in front of me!” He knows immediately. Even though he is states away, I hear him screaming through the phone, ready to pounce on her. I hang up abruptly, realizing it’s now or never, I have to say something. It’s one of those moments you have always wondered what would happen if you actually saw the person again. With little time to plan, I opened with the classic “What’s up Jessica!”

She opened her mouth to respond. As I wait to see what she says, this is what what comes out: “No speak English!” At this point, I’m flipping out. This was not some doppelganger! I lived with this girl for months, I knew her, even if it had been a few years. “No speak English!” she started screaming back at me and ran into the closest nail salon. Nodding my head in disbelief, I waited around for her to come out. I wasn’t about to barge into the salon. However, when a guy three times my size came outside with his arms crossed as if he was looking for me, I did a 180 and walked away as fast I could. Jessica was not worth a black eye.

Maybe Jessica was living with him? If so, I  would totally have the the last laugh when all of his furniture disappeared one day…

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