Allison Moves In by Margie Shepherd

Photo of stacked shipping containers
Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash


Allison did not come to the decision to move in with Gregory lightly. She loved her little apartment, absolutely loved it. It was a source of immense pride and comfort. But she suspected that Gregory might be “the one,” and moving in together was the natural next step. They talked about The Big M only once, admittedly in a cursory fashion, but Gregory did not shy away from talking about the future. Gregory had been pushing the move for weeks. He hated trying to find parking near her building, hated that he had to keep the noise down whenever he stayed at Allison’s. So Allison ended up staying at Gregory’s house more often than she cared to admit.

She pulled into Gregory’s driveway with the last load of boxes. This was it. She’d passed most of her furniture on to her little sister, sold a few pieces on Craigslist, and only took her bureau, her nightstand, and the armchair she’d paid $600 to reupholster into Gregory’s house. Gregory walked in the door just as she placed the last of her boxes on the kitchen counter. “I picked up some dinner for us at Monsoon,” he said, “so we’d have more time to get you settled in. I’m glad you’re finally here, Babe.” Allison did not like this moniker, but now was not the time to tell him—there would be plenty of time for that sort of thing, now that they’d be living together.

“Thanks, Gregory, so happy to not cook tonight.”

After they ate, Allison started on the box in the kitchen. She was a fan of the Good Grip utensils she’d gotten with her discount coupons at Bed Bath & Beyond. She put her spatula in the crock Gregory used to hold large utensils and removed the aged rusted one he’d been using. It’s handle held the melted scar of being left too close to a flame in the past.  “What are you doing with that?” Gregory asked.

“I don’t know, Allison said, “Maybe put the ones we aren’t using in a box somewhere?”

“But I use it,” Gregory said. “It works fine. It was my Nana’s”

She put it back. Two spatulas, then it was two ladles, two frying pans. Gregory was more sentimental than she’d noticed. And how could you deal with the inscrutable legacy of Nana? Allison was bothered by the aesthetic of the new and old crammed into a crock out on the counter, and the ridiculous stack of duplicitous pots and pans. There was no room for her George Foreman, even though it was the small size, nor her steamer, and so into the basement they went. In a conciliatory move, Gregory also put his electric waffle iron in the basement, although Allison sensed a gratuitous attitude. Allison insisted on keeping her electric water heater on the counter, as she used this every morning and evening for tea. Gregory did not remove his enameled kettle from the stove.

In the spare bedroom, which served primarily as a space for the TV and Gregory’s Wii and other gaming apparatuses, the closet had been totally cleared to give Allison her own space. Allison loaded it up quickly, wondering if she was expected to dress in this room, also.

She fixed herself a cup of tea when the last of her stuff found some resting place, albeit, she thought, not the perfect spot—that could come later—and Gregory opened a bottle of Dos Equis. They both flopped on the living room sofa.

“So glad you are here, Babe, this is going to be great!” Gregory said, with a broad smile and genuine enthusiasm.

“The beginning of a grand adventure!” Allison enthused, and sipped her tea. And because it was her first evening, she kept the next thought to herself: “This rug has got to go.”

Photo of light through bars
Photo by Tim Hufner on Unsplash

Margie Shepherd
A New York transplant, Margie Shepherd lives in Charlottesville, Va. Her writing has focused primarily on memoir and essays, plus toe-dips into fiction. She published several essays in the Virginia Journal of Education, and a story in the University of Virginia’s Writer’s Eye Journal. After raising four daughters and teaching adolescents for many many years, she is beginning to look at her writings through the years. . . . She is on Facebook at, and email at

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