“What miss ya, don’t pass ya” – Guyanese Proverb.
The staircase was wide and winding, its granite stairs, hard and smooth, gleamed in the glow emitted by the charming light fixtures that were above the door of every apartment, four on each floor.
A sliver of light shined in from the hallway through the slightly ajar door of Kristopher Rubens as he waited for her to pass. She was seven minutes late, according to her routine which he had up on his fridge.
Hearing the click of heels on the granite surface, he flew to his door and peered through the crack. His breathing quickened and an anticipatory smirk bloomed on his acne-spotted face. He licked his dry lips, the action reminiscent of a lowly snake.
Caroline Yuh Rader strutted up the stairway; her hips sashaying to some unheard rhythm drove him closer and closer to the edge. She stumbled a bit, the grocery bags under her arm slipped dangerously low, her confident stride paused as she tried to right herself and the bags.
His smile flowered into a full out predatory grin as an excuse to approach her arose. He slithered out of his apartment, an offer of assistance on his lips.
“Hi.” he said, his voice echoing up the stairs.
She swung around, her steps almost faltering.
“Hello” she replied with a small smile.
“Um, yo-you lo-look like you ne-ne-need help with yo-your stuff.” He stuttered, pointing to her bags.
She thought that he was as harmless as they came, the typical nerd, probably a computer technician at a Chinese company or something. Regardless, with his slicked back hair, failing to completely cover his burgeoning bald spot, bad stutter and submissive posture, he was sure to be pretty pathetic. So she let him follow her upstairs, it was after all, hard to negotiate the stairs with the weight of the groceries and four inch heels, so having someone ask to share the burden was one offer she was not about to refuse. Even if it meant that he would be wanking off to images of her derriere clad in a skin hugging leopard print skirt.
Heaving a sigh, she handed over the bags to him, flashing a grateful smile.
And they ascended. As she predicted, the weight of his gaze was felt on her, but to her surprise, this made her feel a bit violated. The hair on the nape of her neck rose and a great need to get away from him overcame her. Trusting her woman’s intuition, her tread lengthened. Fear gripped her, prompting her to notice how completely silent the apartment building was, she could probably hear the drop of a pin! This un-nerved her. Where the heck was everyone?
Finally, they reached her fifth story apartment, number 326, and she faced him.
“Thanks so much!” with false enthusiasm, pasting on a giant fake smile, practically ripping the groceries concealed in a plain brown bag from his hands.
“Um, bye” she blurted, averting her eyes from his slimy appearance, hoping against all hope that he would just leave, just go back to his apartment and not ask to come in.
After an awkward moment of silence he responded, “Yea, I should go, bye.”, and with a little wave hopped down the stairs.
The sound of his steps bounced off the granite and echoed through the building, diminishing the further he got from her. She let out a breath. Close call, too close.
No more talking to strangers for this gal.
She pulled her key from her bag, thanking the gods that she did not have to tumble through to find it. Her hand trembled, but after a period no shorter than eternity to her, the stupid thing finally went into the hole. She kept throwing nervous glances over her shoulder.
Almost hyperventilating, she pushed open the door, and pulled the bags across the threshold of her abode.
She stuck her head out and scanned the well lit bone white hallway, seeing nothing and certainly, hearing nothing, she closed the door, satisfied at the click it made.
Her apartment was the same as any other in the building, frosty and impersonal, as the lease she signed required of it. She was of course, a little miffed at first, for she wanted to add her own splash of colour to her home, but she did not want to live anywhere else, so she acclimatized herself to its coldness and never invited anyone up.
|Christian Bale||as Brett|
|Zoe Saldana||as Ivy|
|Michael Emerson||as Kristopher|
|Blake Lively||as Lily|