I opened my eyes the next morning to see her face, inches away from mine. Her eyes were already open. She reached up and ran her hand down my cheek, exploring the contours of my face.
Misreading the moment, I started to lean in for a kiss. She held up her other hand to stop me.
“I’m so, so sorry.” I pulled away from her and rolled over onto my back. I felt terrible.
She took my left hand in her right. I turned my head to look at her. She gave me a reassuring smile, moving against me like a cat. She laid her head against my shoulder. I took her left hand in my right.
We stayed like that for a while. It was nice.
Eventually, though, my bladder forced me out of bed. I extradited myself from her grasp and left the room.
When I was finished in the bathroom, I came out to see her leaning against the back of my couch. She had picked up her guitar and was absentmindedly strumming a simple tune. It sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place it.
“Are you hungry?” I asked. She shook her head no. “Me neither. Why don’t we go back to your apartment, listen to your recording?”
She nodded yes.
“Alright. Let me just get dressed real quick.” I went back into the bedroom and put on the first clean outfit that I found. As I was pulling on my pants, it suddenly hit me that I never got my knife back from the police. I briefly wondered whether or not it was worth it to go down to the police station to see if I could get it back. Maybe after all this was over. After all, I had more important things to do. I walked back out into the living room. “You ready to go?”
She answered by standing up and heading for the front door. On the way there, she grabbed her headphones off the counter. I looked around for my keys, couldn’t find them, then decided it didn’t matter. There was nothing in my apartment worth stealing anyway.
As we went out into the hall, I noticed that the building seemed quieter than usual – even for a Wednesday morning. There were no sounds of muffled televisions or small children making as much noise as they possibly can. There wasn’t even that weird clunking noise that the plumbing makes whenever more than two apartments have the water running.
When we reached her floor, I noticed that the door to apartment 37c had already been replaced – which was weird. When the sink in my bathroom stopped working, it took forever for the landlord to fix it. I had to brush my teeth in the kitchen for a whole week.
The door to her apartment was closed but not locked. We went inside.
Her apartment was nicer than mine. It wasn’t bigger than mine or anything like that, it was just… nicer. Cleaner, better organized. She even had some art on the walls.
Her laptop was sitting on the coffee table (I don’t have one of those either – a coffee table, I mean. I did have a laptop. It was an old, beat-up thing that I won in a card game with a couple trolls). It was still open, and there were wires strewn about.
She sat down on the couch and jiggled the mouse, waking the laptop back up. I walked around the back of the couch so I could look over her shoulder.
She clicked around for a bit. I’m not too familiar with sound recording software, so I wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing. After a few minutes, she hovered her mouse over the play button. She looked up at me, a questioning look in her eyes. I nodded. She hit play.