We have our apartment for about a week more before our lease is finally up. I couldn't be happier; I'm sick of simultaneous mortgage/rent payments destroying our savings. I'm sick of cleaning the apartment, and I always seem to find another area that needs to be scrubbed or spackled or vacuumed.
But it's not without a bittersweet tone do I count down the final days of the apartment. I've already touched upon the idea of apartments as vessels for memories, but it really hit me when I stepped out onto the patio for possibly the last time.
I remember how this apartment was packed to the gills with boxes as we orchestrated a move and a wedding within the same week. I remember thinking how novel it was that we were living at a place with "Royal" in its name, on a street called Newcastle, and we were about to get married in one of New England's few castles. I remember getting carried across the threshold the night after my wedding and finally getting to fall asleep on my own bed again (instead of an air mattress). I remember orchestrating unpacking with my first agency hunt for my first manuscript, both hurriedly done during my lunch break at a school I'd grow to see with venom in my eyes and a sour taste across my teeth. I remember zipping home a year later to bust out my 1000 words for NaNoWriMo. I remember our barbecues and our walks. I remember how, on one of our move-in days, we had an impromptu engagement photoshoot by the drooping willow at the corner of the pond by our apartment, my tripod awkwardly set up in the fire lane, my husband-to-be's arm around me, our backs to the camera, as if we were too busy looking at what was to come to be bothered with engagement shots. Like we had a secret and we didn't feel obligated to tell our wedding guests what it was.
The apartment went from empty, to lined with boxes and disassembled furniture, to organized and liveable, back to a chaos of boxes and unassembled furniture, and now back to empty. Everything is gone, save for the vacuum cleaner and a few toiletries. And the streamers from my husband's 30th birthday, streamers I never took down and decided they would stay up until the very end. And in about a week, we'll take them down, hand in our keys, and say goodbye to Newcastle Drive, essentially sealing in two and a half years worth of memories. Our bank accounts will be happy to no longer be dealing with rent on an empty apartment, but I'm still going to miss it in some weird way.