When my boyfriend Nick and I had been in a long distance relationship for almost two years due to his active military status, we'd decided that enough was enough. We needed more than two weeks together.
In February, I visited him in Jacksonville, North Carolina for a weekend. My first night there he introduced me to his best friend, Thomas, and his wife, Clare. I hit it off really well with the couple and Clare and I became close. We talked about me visiting and staying with them for the summer so I could spend more time with Nick. Clare excitedly agreed that it would be fun and the four of us planned on Nick and I staying in their spare bedroom along with helping pay rent. We had four months until I moved and everything was going along well. Clare and I texted constantly and I spoke with Thomas now and then.
I was so, so excited to be with everyone, spending the summer together, doing cheesy and romantic things. I signed up for online classes to take while I was there and set up an agreement with my bosses to work remotely as well. Then, two weeks before I was set to go, shit hit the fan.
Clare told me she'd be gone for a month for her Air Force Reserves drill. Then she told me her husband would be away for a month as well for a course on base and he wouldn't be home at all either. She asked if I could watch their two dogs and kitten and offered to buy me groceries as compensation. I didn't have much of a choice so I agreed and said that it'd be no problem. When I mentioned the groceries a week later, she told me it was my turn to buy groceries. Then, Clare found out she was pregnant and decided she was too stressed out and didn't want me in her home.
I offered to do the cooking and cleaning and help make the apartment a stress-free environment. When I got down to North Carolina, the apartment was a disaster.
Nick and I had gotten a hotel room instead and planned on spending our weekend traveling around the area. When we got back to the apartment on Sunday, we dropped our stuff off and went grocery shopping. I had told Nick and Thomas that I wanted to try cooking something for them that night with a new recipe. I was eager to give it a go. Thomas told me I could use whatever I wanted in the kitchen and that I had free reign with it. I was excited to start until I couldn't find anything in their cabinets. Food was cluttered everywhere and I had no idea where to start. Thomas and I had discussed a couple times before the disastrous state of the apartment and how he was glad Nick and I would be helping cook and clean. I kindly asked him if I could take everything out of the cabinets so I could find the ingredients I needed and promised I would put everything back where I found it. I took everything out, found what I needed, and put everything back in a more organized manner so I could find things later. Nick and Thomas started cleaning up, too.
Thomas started decluttering the living room and dining room and Nick started vacuuming. They told me that every time Clare goes away for drill, they move everything around and clean up the place. Naturally, I excitedly joined in. I couldn't even move the dining chairs away from the table because of all the clutter, so I started picking things up and handing them to Thomas to put them away or throw out any trash. We cleaned everything up and then got started on dinner. The guys asked me if I could clean up the living room on Monday and I happily obliged. I put Thomas and Clare's stuff in their bathroom or their bedroom and did any dirty laundry I found. I was hoping to make the couple happy by being a good house guest; cooking and cleaning and taking that stress off their shoulders. I was wrong.
A few days later I got a string of angry text messages from Clare:
"Since you're a better woman than I am, Thomas wants you instead of me and I'm not coming home."
"I'm clearly a shitty wife after you moved in and started cleaning shit."
"I'm coming to get my shit and you three can all be happy since you're so much better than I am."
"Thomas thinks you're a better woman than me"
Then she blocked my number. I quickly sent her a message on Facebook asking her what the hell she was talking about and what was going on.
I hurried over to Thomas and asked what he said to Clare. He showed me their text messages. He hadn't said a single bad thing, nothing along any of those lines. Clare had jokingly talked about the apartment being a mess and Thomas simply said I was helping clean so it wasn't that messy anymore. It was simple and innocent.
Still, her texts to me kept coming.
"I'm clearly not wanted so thank you for that."
"Thanks for ruining my marriage because I'm such a slob. Have fun there, hope it's worth it."
After I finally blocked her number and all of her social media accounts, I didn't hear from her for a week. I halted any marriage-ruining cleaning and just cleaned up after myself and Nick. I didn't touch any of her stuff or do anyone's laundry besides my own and Nick's. Things settled down for about a week, so I unblocked her number, in case she wanted to apologize or sort things out. Instead, she went off on me and told me she would call the police and have us removed from her apartment. Since Nick and I weren't on the lease and they hadn't notified their apartment complex that we were staying for awhile, we ran the risk of all four of us getting kicked out.
Thomas, who had been defending Nick and I all along, finally caved and said he was sorry but for the sake of his unborn child, we had to find new living arrangements. I quickly texted my cousin who's a lawyer and she told me Nick and I had some rights as tenants because we'd been paying rent. I was told that legally we had 30 days to leave. I told Clare she had three options: Give Nick and I the 30 days we're legally entitled to, call me and come to a compromise about leaving, or call the police and risk all of us getting evicted. Thomas was for the coming to a compromise and tried talking to Clare (despite her hanging up the phone every 30 seconds) and allowing us to stay until we could find a place to go. Despite taking care of her animals, paying her rent, and trying to take care of everyone, I agreed that it was time for us to just go. Nick and I decided to rent an apartment on a short-term lease and just get the hell out of there.
Luckily, we found an apartment three days later and completely moved out two days after that. I had wanted to clean up after ourselves but after re-reading the messages from Clare, I decided fuck it. We left everything in the state we found it: a complete wreck. I packed up all the groceries I had been buying for us and left the cabinets and fridge near-empty. Thomas was quiet and solemn as we left and stayed in his room as we packed everything up. I hugged and kissed the dogs goodbye (considering I was never going to step foot in that apartment again, even if they wanted me there) and squeezed their kitten.
Nick and I spent the next weekend furnishing and decorating our apartment. We realized Clare kicking us out was the greatest thing ever. We had a big, beautiful, homey apartment and we realized that there was no room for a psychotic roommate in our lives.