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Part 2: Greetings

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Sunday morning arrives with bumps, knocks, and things sliding across the wooden floor above Lita's bedroom. She rolls to her side; on her night stand is a Seiko digital clock. It reads 7:36 AM, but a portion of the hour's seven is not functioning. It looks like a one. She knows it is not that early because the sunlight has crept to the edges of her room chipping away at the darkness.

She sits up on the side of her bed and yawns. As she stretches her arms, the sound trapped in her joints is released and bounces off the walls.

She smiles, "Damn. Time for that dog."

She stands, and her naked form leans into the shadows. In the corner is a yoga mat. She grabs it and rolls it out next to her bed. On her dresser is an iPad propped against the mirror. A slight crack in the device spirals from its bottom corner. With her finger, she navigates to her music player avoiding the bits of glass and makes an initial selection. As she walks back to the mat, 'Cause I love you' by Lenny Williams begins to play.

With the music playing, the noise from the first floor is now barely audible. She goes through her morning routine not necessarily in the order: downward facing dog, upward facing dog, staff pose, upward salute, etc.

On the first floor, the new residents, Dodie and Kadin, are unpacking. They are removing various items from boxes and have come to the realization that some of the boxes are mislabeled. Kitchen items are marked 'bedroom', and pictures are marked 'kitchen'; socks obviously do not go in the living room.

Dodie laments, "I told you we should not have labeled the boxes before we finished packing."

"You did not say that, but it's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback," he responds.

"What does that even mean? You know how I hate it when you make sports analogies. I know nothing about basketball, but forget it," she grumbles.

He laughs quietly, "foot ----ball."

After a few hours of removing items and organizing, they notice a smell. Kadin finds the scent oddly familiar but is unable to determine why or pinpoint the source. He walks toward the entrance.

"What is that freaking smell. I cannot take it. Be right back."

Somewhat mystified, Dodie says, "Do not. Please, don't bother our neighbors with that."

The door opens and closes. Kadin goes up the steps to the second floor unit. He is wearing a gray Slippery Rock University tee-shirt, solid green athletic shorts, and black ankle length socks. He slips on the next to last step and falls to his left knee. As he gets up and limps to the door, it opens slowly. A somewhat dignified man stands beyond the threshold curiously waiting. His hand awkwardly grips the door jam; the other holds the knob as his shoulder brushes the door's edge.

Three seconds pass, and the neighbor asks, "Are you okay?"

"Yeah. Uh, good morning. I'm Kadin. My girl and I just moved into the apartment below you."

"You have a young daughter?" he questions with a frown.

"No. No. No. Sorry. She is my girlfriend. Sorry to be a bother, but we were trying to figure out what that smell is."

He laughs and explains that the smell is emanating from the basement where Lita lives. He lets Kadin know that she cooks chitterlings every Sunday like clockwork.

Looking disgusted, Kadin says, "That is absolutely unacceptable. She can't do that. I am going to have to speak to her. Pork. Good lord."

Amused, the neighbor responds, "Good luck with that young man."

Before he leaves, Kadin learns that the neighbor's name is Samuel and he has lived in the building for the better portion of ten years. Kadin limps back to his first floor apartment to find Dodie sitting on the sofa coughing with her elbows on her knees and her chin resting in her palms.

"Satisfied?" she ask.

"Are you ok?"

She simply stares at him waiting for an answer to her question. He tells her about the conversation he had with Samuel, their second floor neighbor, as he prepares for his visit with Lita. He puts on a pair of slippers that he recently retrieved from one of the correctly labeled boxes. He has to exit the building to get to basement unit. Before leaving, Dodie renews her objection to bothering any neighbors, but Kadin is even more energized after learning Lita cooks pork products every Sunday.

He knocks on Lita's unit. When she opens the door, he is caught off guard. After speaking with Samuel, he had an expectation of a fragile old woman with blue hair.

"May I help you?" she questions.

He is taken back by Lita, and somewhat uncomfortably attracted to her as she stands there in sweatpants and a shirt that reads 'I am a Virgin (But this is an old shirt)'. Her nutmeg colored skin blends into the background as she stands with one thumb in her sweats and the free fingers on her hip.

After some inaudible statement about the smells, he ends with, "Can you not cook the chittlins?"

"I have the ability, but I guess you are looking for either a yes or no. -----No."

She closes the door as he stands silently with a bemused expression.



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