"I was overjoyed when we found a perfect apartment, big enough for two," says Tanya. It seemed ideal, and even boasted a scenic view overlooking a river. Yet even at the beginning they sensed something a little unusual about the property. It was a new building, just over a year old, but the price was far less expensive than others they had looked at. "English properties are not cheap," Tanya explains. "We questioned the owners about it, but they dismissed it by saying they were moving and needed to sell quickly."
The girls took the owners at their word. And it was too good an opportunity to pass up. They rushed home and discussed their plans with their parents, who agreed it was a great idea.
Tanya was thrilled about moving in, but she could see that Nat still had some unexpressed reservations. "I really had my heart set on it," says Tanya, "but having known Nat since I was three, I could tell something was on her mind. When I asked her, she said she wasn't keen on the smallest bedroom." Nat did not elaborate on her objection, so Tanya assumed it was merely the design of the room that Nat didn't like.
What Tanya didn't know was that Nat's bad feelings about the place went much deeper. And Nat knew that her friend loved the apartment, and so they moved in.
Three weeks passed and it was the girls' first night in their new home together. Their boyfriends were there helping them arrange the furniture, unpack the boxes and get settled. Knowing Nat's feelings about the small bedroom, Tanya decided to take it as hers.
After the boys left, Tanya and Nat stood on their balcony, watching the play of lights on the river and marveling about how far they'd come together. Here they were in their own apartment, all grown up and fending for themselves. Nat had been just as excited as Tanya was when they shopped for new furnishings, but still she wasn't quite herself. This seemed the right time and place for Tanya to ask her what was really wrong. Tanya was not prepared for her answers.
Next page: The first signs