Tuesday, 20 November 2012

You've Got Male Models: The Start Pt. 2

I toss my travel bag through the door as soon as I crack it open, pulling out my key and displacing myself to the other side of the door so I can slam it closed. I immediately fumble with the lock, jumping away just as it clicks into place. Scrambling, I grab my bag and creep into the first room, ignoring the deep voices still trekking the halls and opting to even my breathing and slow my heartbeat down.

I'm not normally this jumpy, but then again I don't usually miss so much sleep or drink coffee. Taking those connecting flights was definitely a bad idea.

The large space in front of me is lit up by the shafts of sunlight streaming from the balcony's glass sliding door. On my right, my boxes are stacked neatly in a triangle against the wall.

A box marked "Text books" juts out of a corner of the triangle and I slouch onto the box, surveying the room with a smile. Exactly like the pictures the landlord sent, I note nodding towards the stove peeking out of a doorway and a hall leading to two rooms and a bathroom.

'Hopefully the moving company set up my bed', I muse, grabbing my travel bag and abandoning my boxes to search for my room. I had specifically told them to set up my bed in the farthest bedroom and when I peek inside, the new oak bed frame and mattresses are set up against the farthest wall, centered in the room. I almost frown at my desk, though. It should be in the other room, not set up here.

I shrug it off as something to deal with later and take a moment to launch myself onto the mattresses. Settling into the plastic wrap, I close my eyes and enjoy the silence. The sleepless flight finally hits me and, deciding that the door should be locked, I squirm onto my side, fully intent on sleeping the rest of the afternoon away.

My eyelids have just settled into a lull when the crashing begins and the shouting starts. 'Very close,' I detect from the sharpness and clarity of the swear words. I sit up and slide off the plastic, stretching my shoulders and arms, rotating them in a familiar fashion as I tiptoe towards the hallway. 

The smell of smoke is trailing out of the kitchen, as is all of the shouting.
"Wrong stove top!"
"Get this thing off me!" 
Hands cocked into fists and curled at my waist for precision aim, I peek into the kitchen doorway, immediately disturbed by the scenario. 
Tristan is holding down something in the sink, presumably his own shirt as he is shirtless, which is producing a plume of smoke as it fizzles under the running tap. Jones shuts off the stove top, currently a fiery red and smoking. A charred Styrofoam cup is crushed on the floor in front of the stove by Jones' feet.

"Hey roomie," Tristan calls from the sink, hands still under the running tap. He's smiling with the same smile he had in the elevator.
Before he can say anything else, I walk over to the sink and shut off the tap before the sink overflows. 

 "Now," I start, ignoring his earlier comment, voice calm and quiet. "Why are you burning down my apartment?"
Jones scoffs and I set a glare at him. He turns away from me to lift Tristan's shirt out of the sink, allowing the water to drain, and pushing Tristan away. 
Tristan sheepishly grins, wiping his dripping hands on his jeans. "We live here," he supplies.

"No, no you don't. I rented this place out two months ago. I have a key. All my things are here. This is my apartment," I reassure.

"Well," Jones drawls, wringing out the shirt a final time. He snaps the shirt out of it's twist and lays it to dry from the curve of the tap. "According to Mrs. Truant, we are entitled to half of this space." 

"That can't be true," I sputter, eyes wide, absolutely horrified at the thought of sharing my apartment. Surveying the disaster is enough incentive that they would make terrible roommates. "No, she wouldn't."

"How about we ask her and find out?" Jones challenges, eyebrow arched and arms crossed over his chest.

I'm too tired to disagree and somehow I am dragged back down the elevator with Tristan tugging me along. They lead me to a door marked 'Landlord' on the main floor, politely knocking before a short, aging woman beckons us in with an excited smile and offer of tea.

"Now, boys," she turns to face Tristan and Jones, face crinkling into a smile as she plucks her teacup. "How is the apartment?"

"Absolutely fabulous," Tristan appraises, sending crumbs flying from his biscuit. Mrs. Truant looks endeared at his approval and hands him a napkin, while surveying his bare chest.

"Actually, Mrs. Truant, we seem to have had a misunderstanding," I interject, ignoring my tea. "I am renting apartment 3223, but they claim that the apartment belongs to them. Please vacant them from my apartment." 

"I should, but I won't."
My silence and wide eyes prompt her to continue. The guys fidget with their teacups and cookies, rattling the  silverware as Mrs. Truant takes a slow sip of her tea.

"The boys convinced me that it would be terribly murder to allow a young lady to live by herself without the protection of gentlemen." She reaches for my hands, picking them from my lap to cradle my hands in hers. "Just like a historical romance! You'll fall in love with one of them and it'll be a beautiful story!" Her cheeks have flushed and I grip her hands in my own, feeling for her pulse, pausing to count beats.

Love? Her heart rate and blood flow are normal so I let her hands fall from my own. She's just excited, not a heart attack. I must have pronounced my confusion because Mrs. Truant continues her exclamation.

"Yes! Love! Every young lady needs love, and dear, I am giving you the opportunity! Just look at these prime examples of the male species!" And with that, she lifts me from her floral love seat and drags me to the door, waving her ringed hand at the boys to follow. "Now, enjoy this opportunity, because your mother and I would not be able to live with ourselves if you didn't."

Mother? What does she have to do with this? This is another media scheme.

"Now, you boys take good care of her, and for heavens sake, she needs to sleep, especially after her flight. And dear, don't you worry about your deposit; I sent half of it back as the boys will take care of their half. Now, off you go!" She shuts her door after a final push, we stand stranded in the lobby.

I immediately start a stroll to the elevator, realizing that, yes, I am terribly tired and really just want to sleep.
The boys hurry to join me in the elevator, pressing for our floor. I'll figure this out later when my brain can compute. Without even noticing it, my head starts to droop and the floor comes rushing towards me. 


I swear I'm getting better!


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