1. Before Quarantine

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There are more than 90 billion nerves in a human body, and Maddox was quickly getting on every single one of mine.

For the third time in the last hour, I slammed my fist against the wall between our rooms with the force of a wrecking ball. In response, I heard hushed giggles and whispers before the moaning started up again, with even more vigor than before. Sighing, I buried my face into my pillow and let out a silent scream, my hand still tingling from punching the wall. The heightened moaning was a clear sign, it was time I escaped my bedroom before I lost my mind. 

"For goodness sake, Maddox!" I muttered, gritting my teeth as I peeled away from the comfort of my bed.

He'd promised to be quiet, at least for tonight. Apparently, his memory was worse than that of a goldfish. Scratch that. A goldfish would have been a much better roommate than he was.

My grades had been less than ideal ever since I moved in here. The anatomy exam I had coming up in two weeks was the make-or-break kind. So I'd done the one thing I promised myself I wouldn't – I begged him to keep it down, just a few days of the week at least. But, this guy seemed to have the sex drive of a rabbit.

I'd tried everything, including using headphones to block out the sound – but he still managed to rock the bedframe so hard against his wall that everything I'd placed on the shelves kept vibrating and almost falling.

There was no escape and I was becoming exhausted.

Letting out a deep sigh, I collected my books and notes, taking refuge in the living room. Perhaps some people might enjoy the free porn I was treated to almost daily. I, however, was not one of those people.  

It had been three months since I moved into this apartment. Driven by desperate need and shallow pockets, at the time, I didn't care who I'd be forced to live with - we didn't have to be friends, we just had to share a living space. Oh, how wrong I was. Maddox and I were polar opposites. He found that amusing. I found it annoying as hell. 

There was no way I could focus back on studying now, so in an effort to clear my mind, I switched on the TV. The face of an attractive female news anchor spoke about the recent FIVID-19 virus outbreak sweeping across Europe with rapid speed. I'd heard about it for the first time two or three weeks ago and the opinions on it seemed to differ based on which channel you were watching or who you were speaking to. Not to mention that the internet was ablaze with conspiracy theories and self-proclaimed virology experts. I was anxious about it. It seemed like there were no immediate measures being taken, and I couldn't help but worry about what that would mean in the long run.

Even without my love of medicine, I'd always been the type of person who'd rather be prepared for the worst-case scenario than regret not thinking ahead once it was already too late. 

Just as I was about to switch programs to something less depressing, I heard the door of Maddox's room fly open, and an upset redhead stormed out.

"You're such an asshole, Maddox!" she croaked in a shrill voice, and then the next sound I heard was the apartment door slamming shut.

While quite dramatic in its effect, this wasn't exactly a surprising scene. I could have created a bingo card with Things Maddox's Dates Say and the majority of it would be filled with very colorful language.

Maddox sauntered in wearing no shirt, hands stuffed in the pockets of his gray sweatpants. He passed by me on the way to the kitchen and smirked, shrugging as if to say "Women, you know".

The way he treated the apartment as if it had a revolving door was frustrating.

Shaking my head at him disapprovingly, I narrowed my eyes. "So, you've been abusing your Tinder profile this week." 

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