45: Don’t Trust Strangers

Jakarta Bound is a travelogue about life in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in South East Asia.

*****

When I got back to the school Debbie, Kate and all the usual students who attended classes were there. I said ‘Hi’ to everyone, this time with far more sincerity since my hangover had long since passed. I then sat at my work station and logged on to my personal Yahoo account. If Simon’s phone was switched off, the only way I could communicate with him was by email. I assumed that he had probably gone to his office so he would be able to use the internet. I was right. When I looked at the messages in my inbox there was one there from Simon. It read:

Hi Jeff,
So what a night!  Wow.
Anyway I will go with this lady now, do you also have her email address?
If you want to share, you can pay me informally every month you stay.
Adam

Now this sort of confirmed my lack of trust in Simon. He had totally side swerved the events that had taken place at Jeff’s apartment and was asking me about Vivi’s apartment! I gathered that he had made the assumption that Jeff had not been in contact with me and figured that if he didn’t mention what had happened then I would be none the wiser. Why wouldn’t he want me to know? Well, if you’re going to share an apartment with someone then you don’t want that someone bringing home random ladies of the night who are then going to clear the apartment out whilst you’re sleeping. What you do want is for the person you’re sharing with to be upfront and honest with you about things. However, to think that I would not find out about his little contretemps sooner or later showed me that Simon was a little bit stupid himself. I mean surely he knew that Jeff was going to contact me at some point. And how did he expect to explain why he was no longer living there?

Although I didn’t have the full details of what had happened, it was obvious that Simon could not return to Jeff’s apartment. This meant that he was now as desperate as me to find a place to live. Due to the circumstances, I would have thought that his need was even more immediate than mine. He obviously didn’t want to jeopardise the opportunity to share with me and must have thought that had I found out about what had happened at Jeff’s place I would have changed my mind about the idea. He wasn’t wrong, but  the truth was, I needed him as much as he needed me, only I wasn’t going to let him know that. I hadn’t done anything wrong to Jeff so should the worse come to the worse, I still had the option of renting the room at his place, though I really did not want to do that. Then again, due to the current circumstances Jeff, who struck me as someone who was struggling with his finances, would be more willing to negotiate on terms and price. Simon was no longer living there so he needed someone to help cover his expenses sooner rather than later.

It seemed like this comical yet unfortunate chain of events had put me in an unexpectedly advantageous position. One way or another, I would have somewhere to live at the end of the month.  But before I was going to live with Simon, he would need to be made fully aware that I was not the trifling buffoon that Jeff was. He needed to be clear that should anything like what had happened at Jeff’s apartment happen whilst we were sharing, there would be more likelihood of him leaving via the balcony rather than the front door.

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