I remember going to the open house at Mountain house fairly clearly; I parked my car, saw too many people also parking and walking towards the house, took one look up at the house and fell in love. A smile instantly formed on my face and stayed put the rest of the day. And then again every time I think about it. And now every time I step foot on the property. Anyways, walking through the house was a mixed bag of feelings. I was bewildered by the beauty of it all, confused by its complicated plan (I have a very good sense of direction and this house did fool me), critical of the structural flaws and irritated by the amount of people also looking at the house. I wanted it to be Evan’s and only Evan’s. As we walked through it, we started our hypothetical plans for what we were going to do with each space. We would obviously redo the linoleum flooring in the kitchen, level out the very crooked dining room, add a clawfoot tub to the master bath, raise the shower heads to an adequate height (I’m 5’-11” and Evan is 6’-3”...), create a kickass music room, disco ball included, and so on. As I left the open house I was thankful to have seen such a space and saddened that I would not see it again… So I thought!

That house had obviously generated a lot of interest and I did not think that Evan would be able to snag it. Not because I did not believe he was capable of doing so, but because of the insane housing market in Oakland these days. It would be the luck of the draw and I do not do too well with disappointment. Nonetheless, the Redfin listing was continuously open on my work computer for the next few weeks; I would look though the pictures about six times a day, maybe more.* Then came the offer day, where the owners were going to look at all the bids at once and make a decision. I was a nervous wreck at work. While eating lunch with coworkers I had my phone on my leg waiting for a message from Evan. As soon as I got one I called him, he did not answer, I started sweating and then he finally called back and told me he had just written a “love letter.” He emailed it to me and I got teary eyed and knew he would get it. This was probably the first time I really felt that. And he did. And then came the longest two weeks of waiting for him to get his keys.

*The pictures may or may not be available anymore, but here's the original listing: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Oakland/1526-Mountain-Blvd-94611/home/1975748