The Apartment

The Apartment

Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Literary Fiction

Summary

Alev is slowly getting back to herself after a tough breakup. Now she is starting to realize how strong her feelings are for her roommate Chrissy. That is until an unexpected confrontation brings another woman in to Alev's life. Muddy feelings lead her to seek refuge in her work space. When an outside force threatens both her work and personal life, Alev has to make decision on where her loyalty lies.

Summary

Alev is slowly getting back to herself after a tough breakup. Now she is starting to realize how strong her feelings are for her roommate Chrissy. That is until an unexpected confrontation brings another woman in to Alev's life. Muddy feelings lead her to seek refuge in her work space. When an outside force threatens both her work and personal life, Alev has to make decision on where her loyalty lies.

Chapter1 (v.2) - Another Work Night

Chapter Content - ver.2

Submitted: March 21, 2015

Reads: 2553

Comments: 3

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.2

Submitted: March 21, 2015

A A A

A A A

TYPICAL WORK NIGHT

 

I ran my fingers through my hair shocked to find myself still surprised at having cut it – something I felt was purely impulsive depending on the day – not to mention the silver highlights strategically streaking about the blackness giving the overall style a subtle “pop”. Running gel through my head, I decided to let it stay however it settled, a whim overruled immediately by the desire to rinse it out which I did. Perhaps the “big chop” was a mistake, an illusion of deceit. Doing this didn’t help get over Imani. Yes, I am in a better place than I was a few months ago, sure, but moments like these still happen, still cause me great pain…great misery. Great! My mind’s mere utterance of her name opened the floodgates. Bloody time. Do better! Be a better physician! I do not want to think about her. Why does my heart not understand this? Why does it insist on torturing itself?

The water from the shower hit me with force despite the numbing impact of the individual droplets. It had been a year since we had broken up, three months since a thought included her and now – just like that – I found myself right back in the thick of fresh, raw hurt.

“Alev! You almost done?”

The shower curtain flew back revealing my roommate on the other side. I looked at her with disheartened eyes.

“Imani?” Chrissy asked with concern.

We had been roommates for three years so the aftermath of her best friend separating herself from me was extremely familiar to Ms. Rainier.

“Get out.” She handed me a towel.

My nudity was fancied giving the on-again-off-again crush taking place over the last year and some months, a continued battle of acceptance versus denial one might say. I ran my fingers through my hair – a reconfigured gesture to dry it – and took the towel from her.

We went into my room where I finished drying off while Chrissy sorted through clothes in my closet searching for an outfit I could wear to work. Angered every time I did this, I glanced at the clock on my nightstand to see the remaining minutes before I had to be at the apartment. Ninety minutes. My phone vibrated just then – my partner telling me he would be here in twenty minutes. Damn, I wish I could stay home tonight.

“Wear this tonight.” As if reading my thoughts, Chrissy tossed several hangers worth of clothing out of the closet to the bed.

Propping myself up on my elbows, I looked at the walls as the clothes – blurs in the foreground – landed on the bed, “Thinking about going back to black.” These words were followed up by nonchalantly applying lotion to my arms, legs, and midsection.

Decorating my entire room in black was the next impetuous decision made following my hair cut.

Chrissy knew simply suggesting this was a giant step backwards so it did not catch me off guard when she gave me a resounding and emphatic, “No.”

I started getting dressed without a response. Too bad I’m not in the bedroom tonight. The screams helps chase these memories away.

Chrissy took my place on the bed watching me dress myself, her warm brown eyes holding disappointment as my nakedness disappeared under the articles piece by piece. She loved the detail of my full sleeve tattoos as well as my nipple rings – particularly when noticeable at the most inopportune times. My left ear had two holes while the other had one – all had a black hoop hugging my earlobes. Chrissy’s tongue took a leisurely stroll across her soft, full lips. I took her in fully noticing the underwear she wore provided enough transparency to see she not only shaved but was aroused. Inhaling solely through my nose, I smelled Sex on the Beach body oil – no secret it was I preferred Blood Lust.

“Drew?” I asked. Chrissy nodded. That got me together quickly.

Buttoning each of the sleeves on my shirt, I moved to the mirror over my dresser. The light grey vest accentuated the rest of the business attire which was all black; a silver ring for a designated finger on each hand and a Fossil watch completed the ensemble. I don’t know what it was but this outfit really made my chestnut skin stand out. Chrissy got up to add her own touches while I attempted to make my drying hair look less messy. Her hands pushed my arms down to my sides before returning to my shoulders where they slowly smoothed my shirt down, her eyes gazing into the reflection of mine via the mirror. I looked over my shoulder at her receiving a smile in return. Standing on her tiptoes, Chrissy planted small kisses on the parts of my neck she could reach. My eyes watched her reflection taking in her actions. Chrissy Rainier had never been with a woman before. This known fact deterred me from proceeding with any sort of courtship. My roommate witnessed me having sex with Imani once – an accident she claims – a confession she gave of her desire to experience what she saw. A sigh left me. My phone vibrated again.

“Come home to me,” Chrissy said.

“Don’t I always?” I asked.

She smiled sweetly before turning me around and standing up on her tip toes once again – I stood over her by three inches – placing her lips lightly on mine.

"I’ll be waiting for you.” She walked out of my room.

I watched her until her silhouette blended in with the darkness of the living room. Stand your ground, Alev.

Trevor was waiting in his old pickup truck wearing his favorite pair of jeans, a red and white flannel shirt, and a light blue denim jacket with cream colored fur around the collar – I envied him. We had been partners for five years. He was older than me by twelve still we shared his head forfeiting his denial about going bald. A new alteration was him trimming his beard low.

“I know that look. Imani again?” He asked once I closed the door.

My eyes stayed on the road ahead.

“Ya know, I never understood her. She dressed nice, smelled nice. Looked absolutely amazing. She was a total bitch.”

I looked at my partner.

“Alev, come on. Three years and runs off to marry some doctor.” Trevor faced me slightly with his left arm resting on the wheel. “You loved that girl! She was the apple of your eye.”

I quietly recalled us talking about this already as the truck was put in drive sending us forward.

"Broken legs would have been a nice gift for that aisle and broom. I’m just saying.”

Calmly, I let Trevor know he had said enough. My feelings were just starting to compose themselves and escalating right back to one-hundred was not what I needed right now.

We rode to the other part of the city. Trevor inquired about Ms. Rainier’s well-being.

“Still with Drew.” I adjusted in the chair for comfort.

“She looks nice, smells nice,” Trevor commented.

“Don’t compare them.” The warning in my tone was strong.

Trevor’s eyes glanced my way quickly, “Just thought you crossed that bridge is all.”

“We talked about this.” Nothing more was said afterwards.

My partner started to speak but the complex came into view. Thank God!

We pulled into a parking spot – one Trevor designated as his own – looking up at the rickety apartment building. Several windows were boarded, but a few were lucky enough to have A/C units. A group of men were huddled around a barrel with a fire blazing which seemed a bit odd giving the warm spring night. They observed us cautiously – Trevor more so than me – as we crossed the parking lot, their questionable expressions telling me a white man in this neighborhood was an uncommon sight.

“Evening gentlemen. Keeping warm?” my partner asked. The men looked at him nodding hesitantly. “Alev, we better get upstairs. Appointment is due soon.”

Inside the building, bodies lined the stairs leaning against the walls. Slaves to the glass dick among other poisons. A few small children in various apartments on various floors could be heard running around either yelling with joy or crying in fear and abandonment. A crack building is a brilliant idea. The dynamic has been the same for as long as I can remember. People’s main concerned is their next high. Their neighbor’s business is just that…theirs.

I unlocked the door and we entered the apartment. The place looked very lavish with extravagant furnishes. Our boss wanted our guests to feel they were in a safe place especially giving the location of our office space. When it came to the back room, the story took a grave turn. What was once a bedroom had been converted into a hellish torture chamber. There was a metal fold out table, a tool box, tool chest, and other little things we used when situations were deemed necessary. Trevor locked the door and went to the kitchen to fetch a bottle of beer and some water.

“Hey! Hey! Who’s here?” a man called from the back room.

Trevor handed me the water and I sat in one of the cushy midnight purple armchairs.

“Does my boy get wet tonight?” Trevor asked. I shook my head.

“Hey! Answer me!” the man yelled from the back.

“Shut the fuck up! I’m talking to my goddamn partner out here!” Trev barked. “Why not? My behavior has been impeccable with the past three appointments we had this week.” Trevor was bisexual so occasionally he would have his way when he was in the back room. Oddly enough, it was always when the laundry was male.

“Trev, we don’t have all night.” I set my water bottle down.

“So, he can blow me then? That normally doesn’t take more than seven minutes…if they know what they’re doing anyway.”

I looked at Trevor and gestured for him to proceed. He smiled and started for the back room.

“Got you Chinese takeout in the fridge. I think there’s a game on but the TV is still on the old movie channel you like.” The door shut behind my partner.

Trevor was like a kid in a candy store. After getting myself situated with some food, I turned on the TV. A black and white movie from the 1940s was playing. Trevor let out a sexually satisfying moan. Looking at my watch, I saw it took twelve minutes. This made me chuckle.

A little while later, a knock sounded at the door interrupting my thoughts on Chrissy. I was really hating the fact I couldn’t stay home with her tonight. Drew would have to settle for a rain check. What would be the point, Alev? You know you would stop yourself from letting things go too far. I agreed with the voice inner self. No matter how bad I wanted my roommate, her lack of knowledge around the female anatomy was always enough to shut my hormones down. She’s a great girl though, very loving and nurturing. Maybe… The person knocked again and I went to the door pushing her to the back of my mind. Looking through the peephole, I saw a nervous young man on the other side.

“Mr. Ryan?” I asked as I opened the door. He nodded entering quickly.

The man paused as he took in his new surroundings, “Oh wow! It’s like day and night between this and the rest of the building.”

“Have a seat on the couch.” I extended my hand to the large sofa across from the armchair I was sitting in. A glass table separated the two pieces of furniture. “I apologize for the location. My boss believes in utilizes areas the authorities won’t bother themselves with. Lost causes he calls them.”

Mr. Ryan smiled as he sat down slowly on the couch. I studied him for a minute and could tell he really was nervous. Must be his first time.

“Would you like something to drink? I have water, beer.” Hopefully my offer would calm him down.

It was not uncommon for new clients to have a mini mental breakdown come time to finalize everything. Thoughts are always just that until they become actions, and seeing as though actions can sometimes become habits, I try to allow people time to accept and digest the inner demons they will struggle with for the rest of their days.

“Beer sounds nice. I feel like I need something stronger.” Mr. Ryan’s hands were jittery and clammy.

“Whiskey? Tequila?” I offered. He smiled brightly and I closed and locked the front door. In the kitchen I took a swirling shot glass from the cabinet and poured my client a double shot of Ever Clear.

“Thank you very much!” Mr. Ryan took the drink and swallowed it without hesitation. His face told me this particular liquor was not his preferred choice.

“So, Mr. Ryan, what brings you to our company?” I took a seat in the armchair across from him and crossed one leg over the other.

“Please call me, Timothy. To be honest I’m not really sure where to start.”

“Start from the beginning. Prior to doing what we do, we like to sit down with our clients. Get a clear understanding of why our services are desired,” I explained. My eyes continued to observe the young man. He seemed to be calming down.

“Well, okay, it started with my best friend, Charlie. We’ve been friends since we were kids playing on the same football team.” Timothy paused as his mind wander in the past. Whatever he was preparing to say still seemed to have a surprising effect on him. “One night Charlie…Eli, that’s Charlie’s real name, Eli. Anyway, Eli showed up to my house beaten up. Apparently his dad had come home drunk and taken his anger out on my friend. Eli stayed at my house for a few days and I took care of him.”

“You were there for Eli in a time when he needed you most.” I continued to study Mr. Ryan. The liquor was creeping up on him now.

“Having him there was great! It gave us a small taste of what living together would be like…of what being together would be like. You see, behind closed doors, Eli and I were a couple.” Timothy swallowed hard having said the words aloud to another.

Mr. Ryan’s mind went on another stroll down memory lane so I fetched him a second shot. He thanked me and drank it swiftly.

Timothy looked up at me with a strong, serious expression, “Eli’s father found out about his son being gay. That’s why he went crazy on him. Mr. Charles doesn’t approve of his son’s sexual orientation. He feels it would make his company look bad. Mr. Charles has one of the top architect firms in the city so he’s known throughout town.”

“So a father doesn’t approve chooses to beat the homosexuality out of his son. Is that why Mr. Elijah Charles Senior is in the back room right now?” I asked motioning towards the room Trevor was in.

Mr. Ryan looked at me fearfully, “No ma’am. He’s back there because I’ve been cheating on Eli with his dad for the last four years.”

“Interest—”

“There’s more,” Timothy interrupted, “The reason I’ve been sleeping with my boyfriend’s father is because he said he would pay for my college tuition. I injured my shoulder my junior year of high school ending my football career. Eli and I have always wanted to go to the same school, but my parents couldn’t afford the tuition. At the time, Mr. Charles’ offer seemed like a good idea. A one-time deal. After that Eli and I would be gone and I could bury that secret in the distance that would be between us and his father.”

I smirked, “One time turned into multiple, and now he’s threatening to quit paying for your education after telling his son, your boyfriend?”

Timothy Ryan nodded, “Exactly. This is Eli’s senior year in college, and I just started on my masters. It damn near killed me convincing Mr. Charles to also pay for grad school. That check just cleared the account he set up for me.”

“How do you think Elijah is going to feel when he finds out his boyfriend played a part in his father’s demise?” I looked Tim dead in his eyes.

Surprisingly he matched my seriousness, “He won’t. You’re a cleaning business, you get rid of dirt and stains. Eli will probably be overjoyed anyway…he hates the bastard.”

I nodded my head and stood up from the arm chair. Mr. Ryan did the same. He took a shot for the road and I walked him downstairs.

“Go home to your boyfriend, Mr. Ryan. As a member of Valiant Cleaners, I guarantee you will be very satisfied with our service.” I stood on the curb as the young man climbed into his Suzuki iK-2.

After he left the apartment complex, I sent Trevor a text to proceed with the cleaning. 


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