My name is Rafael Hannigan. I was nineteen, only having graduated from high school that year. I was one of the people who believed that experience on the job was better by far than college qualifications, especially in the Journalist's line of work.
So, I packed up my things and moved out of my family home, the place I'd lived for thirteen years. I said my goodbyes to my parents and my friends, promising to keep in touch.
My new job was at a new magazine based in New York City, a sharp, witty mag that delivered all the best and latest entertainment news. I was to start working in the new department, the Investigative Section. I was well-prepared for the job, having spent four years working as an Investagative Reporter in my High School paper.
Anyway, the story starts officially when I arrived in the Big Apple. I had to stop to ask for directions to my new apartment a few times, but within the first few hours I'd found my way there.
I'd visited the apartment a few times, as you do, in the process of buying it, and I got to know the estate agent a little. Recognizing her stood on the stone steps of the apartment block, I approached her with a wide smile.
'Morning, Laura!' I beamed happily, excited to finally move in my things.
'Oh, God!' she looked at me as if she'd seen a ghost.
'What... What's wrong?' I asked, putting a friendly arm around her.
She sniffled a little, cursing up at the sky. 'It's you that should be pissed off, not me. My employers had some technical error and they sold you the apartment without realizing it had already been bought.'
I could feel the colour draining from my face. 'I... I lost the apartment?'
She nodded, 'Well, technically you never had it. But the company said they can get the money back into the bank by Friday, and until then they'll pay for you to stay at a local hotel. I'm really sorry, Rafael...'
'Well, I guess I'll just have do make do. Don't go blaming yourself, Laura,' I said, running a hand through my hair.
She apologized several more times and left, giving me the details of my hotel room.
I shrugged to myself as I got back into the car. 'At least it's only across the street from the hotel.'
After getting everything I could up into the double room at the hotel, my cell started to ring.
'Hello?' I answered.
'Rafael? Hello, it's Promo Magazine. We understand you've had some bad luck...'