After my separation, when my ex was ready to go to Gatineau, I knew with my small salary I wouldn’t be able to pay my own apartment. We lived in the Plateau, one of the most expensive places in Montreal. At the time, together we paid 1100$ month. The only way to survive in the island with a salary of 12$ was looking for a roommate.
I thought it would be a good idea to live with a woman. So I was looking for a girl able to share her apartment and ready to accept Lima. It was a real nightmare. Nobody wanted us. Well, I’d have been able to find a nice apartment but because of Lima everything went complicated.
My limit was 400$, I didn’t want to pay more than that. All the services must be included like internet, heater and telephone. Sometimes they asked more than that. Other, less but I was automatically refused because of the cat. Most of them asked me if Lima was a “clean” cat.
Anyway, the only person who answered me was Genevieve Collins. I had to pass an “interview”. I was a bit nervous because I was running out time. When I called her on the phone she seemed a bit nice. I mean, nicer than normal but I thought I was paranoid. So, when I went to her place, a bit far from the plateau, 10 minutes on foot and 5 minutes by bus to the near metro station. I talked to her; she was doing her master degree in psychology. At that time, I forgot one my basic rules: never trust in a psychologist even if it’s a student. She told me she lived with roommates few times but just for saving money or for helping friends. She told me also there was a guy asking for the room. The price was 400$. The only inconvenient was her dog, a fat female boxer. She also had a cat but her boyfriend, who lived just next door, would keep the cat with him.
My ex helped me to move. I asked Étienne to help me but my ex insisted she’d help me. We put all my boxes in her car and we drove there. It was spring but very ice. The car, because of the height and the snow was skating. Caroline had troubles to take control of the car. We arrived and Genevieve was smiling…but you know what, the first thing you should be careful about Quebecquers is the smile…watch out!!! And I really mean it. Let me explain a bit about her. She was weird. She was all the time in the other apartment with her boyfriend, every time she came was just for hours and she did it silently, as she was trying to hide herself but I should say she was liar and I’m totally convinced that it was the first time she was honest with someone: her boyfriend, she was scared the relationship didn’t work out. Anyway, that doesn’t change the fact she was a liar.
I couldn’t sleep the first night. Lima was scared to death because of the dog. I used to leave her in my closed room because she was too stressed and I was scared the dog could hurt her. I chose that apartment because of her. Because it was the only apartment let me stay with a pet.
It was a rare experience to be with a roommate. Someone let you enter in your apartment, let you use the things, use all the furniture and many other things and services to someone you’ve never seen before. It was a kind a cultural shock. Just two days later Genevieve told me she wanted to buy a house with her boyfriend but she “didn’t know when” but she would help me to move again. That was bitch of her. She never told me her intentions about to leave the apartment. Just the second month she told me in the kitchen when she was leaving that I had to move … the third month…I wanted to kill her. After the news she left me. I talked to my ex and I asked her to go to Gatineau with her…and she refused…I was alone, totally alone for the first time. After everything I did for helping her in her research for the federal job, correcting her resumes, giving her tips about interviews, supporting her…she was scared that our relationship could make her lose her job.
Anyway, after a couple weeks I heard a message in the answering machine. It was the landlord who was asking her if she wanted to renewal the leasing. I was just 2 months left. So, everything was planed. She wanted a roommate just to finish the leasing not for a long time. She was using me to do that. She never told me that, not at all. So, I was so mad, I was furious and our relationship was a hell. I couldn’t control my anger; I cried I didn’t know what to do. I was twice fooled, one by my ex and the other by my roommate. Honestly I wanted to kill her.
So, once again I was looking for a room. It was another nightmare. Everybody refused me. I was desperate and it seemed all the world was against me. Lima was the problem, people taught she was dirty like a dog. But I had another plan.
I wanted to pay Genevieve just the way she paid me back. So, I found a room but I didn’t tell her. I was waiting just a week before next month. Because she told I had to move just one week before the payment. She told there would be a party at her place. I said it was ok…just a couple days before the party I said “I found a room”, her face didn’t look happy…I used the heater as much as I could, the dryer machine and the washing machine just thinking that she had to pay the big bill by her own because I wouldn’t let her use my money. When I told her that, she asked “Are you happy?” I think I understand now why she asked me that…she knew I was paying her just like she did.
My ex help to move…what it came later…is another incredible story.