I Think it was a Sunday
"Hello, you must be Nathan." The woman was wearing a work apron with a large pocket on the front like a kangaroo pouch. Her hair was brown and messy, but pulled into bun with a few strands sticking out here and there. She had her hands on her hips, smiling, but with a sympathetic look in her eyes.
I hated that look. Everyone I'd spoken to in the past few months had all been wearing that same expression, "Poor boy, it must be so difficult, he must be so sad.
" It's as if they expected I wouldn't have the will to live anymore. I never asked for their sympathy. I didn't want their pity.
I looked around the bus depot but couldn't pick out his
face in the crowd. "...He's not here." I said flatly.
She shifted her feet awkwardly, "No, he said he had important business to take care of and wouldn't be able to-"
"I didn't expect he would be here."
"It's not you," she began in an attempt to make me feel better, "I think he really had some important clients he had to meet with."
"It's because it's me that he doesn't care enough to show up."
She opened her mouth and then closed it again. No argument.
I extended my hand and she enthusiastically grabbed it and shook my arm roughly, "So, my name is Suzanne, I'm sure your mother probably-" She stopped and looked at me with a startled look, "I-I'm sure you've probably heard a bit about me. Nice to finally meet ya, Nathan."
"Call me Frost." I told her, slipping my hand from her grip. I picked up my suitcase and walked passed her briskly.
going by your last name?" She asked, catching up to me with a long, determined stride.
"That's what everyone called me back home." I told her. "Even my parents
." That was a complete lie, but strangers calling me by my first name felt weird. I always introduced myself by my last name first. I glanced over my shoulder and saw her pace slow for a moment, as if she thought I was going to crumble to the floor just talking about it. I'd done all of my grieving months ago. It was done.
," she said airily, as if she was relieved she'd dodged some sort of trouble, "so then...Frost
, you'll be staying with me at my place. Now it's kinda cramped, but you'll have your own room. I'll try and give you as much privacy as I can."
We walked about four blocks until coming to a row of apartment complexes. The buildings were each about twelve stories tall and were built from the same sand colored brick. Suzanne lead us to the third building down. We slipped into the elevator of the lobby and rose to the tenth floor. Neither of us said a word to one another, the only sound was the grinding of the elevator shaft.
"Our room is #105, that's tenth floor, fifth down on the right. Pretty easy to remember, eh?" She said with a broad smile, as if she were proud she was able to remember where she lived.
"So, let me give you the grand tour."
The first thing I noticed about Suzanne's apartment was the smell, of which I caught a whiff of before she'd even opened the door. It was like walking into a wall of lilac and roses that had been smothered with cologne. I could swear that if you looked hard enough you could see a visible cloud in the air around you made up of a bunch of different cheap candles and air fresheners. When I walked inside the first thing we passed was the kitchen, which was situated directly to the right of the door and was connected right to the living room. She had a small fridge and a microwave oven. I suppose the only hot meals would be E-Z Bowls of instant noodles and pasta.
The living room was about ten feet of space, in which was crammed a love seat, recliner, and an old television. The rabbit ears told me that my choices in viewing would probably be fairly limited. She opened a door on the wall behind the love seat which I had thought was a closet, but it turned out to be the bathroom. A shower with a curtain covered in pink flowers, a toilet, and a sink. There was barely even enough room for both of us in there. You had to practically step over the toilet to get into the shower.
Next we entered a little hallway across from the bathroom and she opened up the door on the right. "This here is my room. If you need anything, just make sure to knock." I took a step back as I felt like I'd just been punched in the nose by a field of flowers. Obviously this was where the stench emanated from. She slid passed me and opened the other door across from her room. "And this here is where you'll be sleeping."
I walked inside and looked around. There was a card table set up over in the corner, a bed with a bare mattress on it, and a window. "How depressing." I muttered.
"What was that?" Suzanne said, leaning in to hear me better.
"I said I'll be undressing
so I can put on some new clothes."
"Oh, dear, well then..." She looked over her shoulder for a second as if she wasn't sure what to do. "I'll just go ahead and find us something to eat. I was thinking of ordering pizza to celebrate you getting here, what would you like on it?"
"I'm not very hungry." I told her, dropping my suitcase on the floor with a thump and unzipping my coat.
Suzanne covered her eyes with one hand as if I was planning on stripping down right in front of her, "Okay, well if you get hungry I'm just gonna tell the guy pepperoni and mushrooms, that okay?"
She closed the door behind her and I could hear her making the call from the living room. I tossed my jacket on the mattress and then fell backward onto it, spreading my arms wide. This was where I was going to be living for the next two years. How depressing.
I got up and walked over to the window and peered through the blinds with my fingers. Across the street stood a building identical to ours; a boring, sand colored rectangle. That was when I looked at the window across from me. The blinds were open, and in the shadows of the room I could see someone standing in front of the window. I froze for a moment. There was no way they could be looking at me, but for some reason I was afraid to look away, like if I did, I would turn around and they would be right there. Just as soon as I was about to pull away from the window, the blinds snapped shut across from me. I let out a sigh; what the hell was my problem?
I sat down on the bed and pulled off my scarf. I looked at it for a moment and could feel a tug in my chest. I dropped it on the floor and laid back on the mattress. This was where I would be living for the next two years
I fell asleep on that thought.