Photo via VisualHunt
Nick and Elsie looked around the interior of the condo with interest. They’d been house hunting for the past month and were beginning to believe that they’d never find something in town. Nick wanted to be close to work and with Elsie starting at the university in the fall, urban life was a necessity.
The realtor smiled at the young couple’s wide eyes. “This is the last place on today’s list, and I was saving the best for last. This is a two story unit, everything is new even though the building itself was built back in 2002. The first floor is great for entertaining, and the bedroom is on the second floor. The stairs are there, if you’d like to take a look?”
Nick and Elsie went up. Elsie gasped. “Nick, this is as big as our apartment out in the burbs,” she said.
“Elsie, don’t use that word. It makes you sound so uneducated,” Nick said, pulling on her braid. She giggled and swatted his hand away. The couple walked back downstairs. “How much do they want for it?”
“They’re asking one thirty for it,” the realtor said.
“What’s wrong with it?” Elsie asked.
“Elsie,” Nick began.
“Nick, we looked at the unit across the street two days ago. They’re asking two ten for the low end ones, which are worse than this one. I want to know what’s wrong with this unit that they’re selling it so cheap,” Elsie said.
The realtor hesitated, glancing down at her phone. She sighed. “I’m not supposed to tell you this. It could cost me my job if they find out I said anything. Two years ago, the last tenant of this condo was murdered by her boyfriend. They were arguing and he snapped. He beat her and then threw her through the window there.” She gestured at the huge plate glass window.
“That’s awful,” Elsie said.
“The company who manages the condos didn’t open the unit again until the beginning of this month. They’re desperate to fill it, but most people know what happened and won’t buy it,” the realtor said.
Nick and Elsie looked at each other. “Will they go down to one hundred even?” Nick asked.
The realtor looked surprised. “You’re still willing to offer? Even with what I told you?”
“It’s in the past. He’s not here. She’s gone. We need a place to live. If they’re willing to drop the price to keep us here, we’ll take it,” Nick said.
“Let me call down to the office.” The realtor dialed a number on her cell phone. She walked away from the couple, speaking quietly into the mouthpiece.
Elsie took Nick’s hand. “Are you okay with this, Elsie?” Nick whispered.
Elsie nodded. “It’s sad, but this place is perfect for us and we’re running out of time. It sucks it happened but it has nothing to do with us.”
The realtor returned. “The managers agree to your terms. They’re down in the office now, if you want to finalize today.”
“We’ll do it,” Nick said. “But we want to read all the rules first.”
“Right this way,” the realtor said, leading them out the door. Elsie glanced back over her shoulder and for a moment thought she saw a woman in the window. Shaking it off as just the reflection of her or the realtor, she turned her attention to the process she was now a part of.
Three weeks later, all of their furniture was in, the walls were decorated, and Elsie was in the process of cooking their first meal in their new home. Nick was reading the employee’s handbook for his new job as she brought him his plate.
“Thanks,” he said, smiling at her and putting the book away. Elsie grinned and stood up. She gasped, her own food falling to the floor.
“Elsie, what’s wrong?” Nick asked, turning to look. He gave a strangled cry of horror.
A woman with long, dark hair stared back at them from the window. Her image wavered as if she were an old movie being projected on the screen. Rain falling down made it look like she was crying.
She watched them for several long moments before vanishing. “Nick,” Elsie whispered.
“Do you think?” Nick asked. Elsie nodded. “I’ll start house hunting again.” Elsie nodded again. She didn’t mind the thought of roommates, but a ghost was not something she wanted in her home.