Cory.

Her name was Cory, because her parents wanted a boy.

Nothing from our correspondence that day had led me to expect that anyone but a man would answer the door.

But there she was, standing in the opening wearing a translucent top — her undergarments clearly visible through the fabric of her shirt.

I was really beginning to like California.

It was December, 1999 and I’d only been in the state barely a week — having just moved all the way from Virginia to take a job for an Internet startup in San Francisco.

I was staying with a friendly coworker who offered to put me up while I apartment searched through Craigslist. That’s how I found myself on Cory’s doorstep that afternoon.

She smiled and welcomed me in.

“You have the perfect nose!”, she said.

Well, that was unexpected, I thought. “Thank you.”, I replied, and touched my nose self-consciously. I’d always felt my nose was oddly shaped, like a ski jump for people with a death wish. But Cory liked it.

“Is that your REAL hair?”, she asked.

My real hair? What the hell is wrong with my hair, I thought. “Um, yeah.”

Cory was an “older” woman. Five years older than me at the time. In fact, now that I think about it, she’s still five years older than me.

At the time, I felt like the five years age difference was a big deal. Like if I moved in with her, I’d be living with an “adult”. And the way she talked to me, I kind of got the sense that she knew something, but wasn’t telling me.

She was really pretty and had a nice smile. And I’d never met anyone with fake boobs before. In fact, this was all new territory for me. And for a rural boy originally from the backwoods of Maine, it was all just slightly intimidating.

…But exciting at the same time.

As we talked, I leaned against a wall near the front door, which was still open. Hands in my pockets. Cory reached to close the door behind me, her chest accidentally brushing against mine. That’s funny, I thought there was more room than that.

And then we began the tour of the apartment that I’d come to see. Only it wasn’t an apartment — as was stated in her Craigslist ad — it was a two bedroom house. A house!

It was a bit further out from the city than I had hoped, and a bit more than I initially wanted to pay, but she seemed really nice — and had a great pair of eyes that weren’t quite committed to being brown or green.

“And this will be your room.”, she said, as she walked me into the room adjacent to her bedroom.

I hadn’t yet decided on the place. It was a small room with a tiny closet — and it had a desk in it — but looking at Cory looking back at me, I could see myself sleeping there.

To be continued…

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