Ro’s two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of Building Six in the Westwynd Complex – it was on the left at the top of two flights of stairs – was oriented east to west. The view from the front, to the east, was of her building’s parking lot, Westwynd Drive and the clubhouse beyond. The view from the back, to the west, was of the Bottoms.
You entered the apartment into the living room, which had a sliding glass door and small balcony overlooking the parking lot. On the opposite side of the living room was a galley kitchen and small dining area.
Instead of positioning the sofa on the long wall of the room, as might have been done by most, Ro had placed it across the room, giving it a feel of being wider than it was. Instead, against the long wall was a wide bookcase, a 27-inch TV on the top at one end, her stereo on the other end. The shelves hosted her collection of mostly classical CDs and DVDs of her favorite movies – the CDs outnumbering the movies by a factor of ten to one.
Down a short hallway from the living room were the bathroom, positioned on the left behind the kitchen, a small bedroom straight back and a larger bedroom to the right, behind the living room.
Ro had decided to use the small bedroom for sleeping and the larger bedroom as her office-study. The latter room also had a sliding glass door and small balcony looking out at the trees.
Kate, who had a warehouse full of furniture – mostly “trade-ins” from customers whose offices Kate Delahanty Design had redone over the years – had offered her daughter anything she wanted to help get her place furnished. There were lots of high-end solid oak desks and bookcases, leather executive office chairs, designer branded sofas, and ultra-modern chrome coffee tables she could choose from.
But the pieces Ro selected might best be described as “eclectic comfortable,” which meant they had no discernible “look,” like modern chic or traditional Colonial. The desk and bookcases for her home office-study were very utilitarian – and cheap – composition board. The two-drawer filing cabinets were beat-up metal. And her “dining room set” was really a plastic conference table and matching chairs.
Not particularly conscious of it, Ro had approached the furnishing and decorating of her apartment from the perspective of pleasing herself rather than making some sort of fashion statement to impress visitors.
Even the “art” she chose for her walls reflected this predilection: they all meant something to her, personally.
For instance, in the bedroom she hung two large framed Ansel Adams black and white posters: “Oak Tree, Sunrise” and “Birds on the Beach,” because to her their message was of peace and joy.
On the living room wall were three colorful poster-size artworks, copies of the project Atti had submitted as part of her applications for the computer graphics program at Columbia College in Chicago. One was of a Conan-like warrior, clad in leathers, bulging muscles, a sword hilt visible over his right shoulder; another appeared to be a riff on a Flash Gordon-character, clad in a close-fitting, one- piece jump suit with a stylized lightning bolt emblem across the chest and a blaster in each hand.
But it was the middle poster that meant the most to Ro. The character in the poster was, in fact, a stylized rendition of her; it had her short red hair, except it looked more like flames in the poster, and a fierce warrior frown, suggestive of the “cop face” she would later cultivate when she became a deputy.
Clearly charging into some dangerous situation, she was wearing a quasi-military tactical vest, a badge-like emblem on the front. Her left hand was firing a huge automatic pistol, a long gout of flame erupting from the barrel. The other was stuck out high and to her right, clenched into a formidable fist, and had apparently just delivered a devastating blow to a bad guy who was out of frame, but whose feet could be seen upended behind her.
Even Ro’s dad, Big Mike, who was an accomplished amateur chef, contributed to the “apartment project,” putting together an assortment of pots and pans, utensils and some old dishes and flatware to help get her kitchen situated. Oh, and he added a cooler full of frozen dishes he’d made to stock her freezer, because he knew his daughter did not share his passion, let alone patience for “from scratch” cooking.
The only items Ro ended up having to buy for herself were a bed and chest of drawers – Kate didn’t have any of those in her warehouse – an assortment of sheets, pillow cases and towels, and a safe for her guns.
Next: Ro’s study
© 2019 Dave Lager