“Well that’s a bummer.” She smiled as she walked towards the door, pausing at the threshold to look back at me. “I know you weren’t planning on having to stay in the apartment all day, but really, it will be a huge help, if only in a normal way. I’ll buy you dinner Friday, I swear, after I get through this nightmare week, I’ll be in the mood to party and you’re always particularly good for that. Especially when someone else is paying for your drinks.” 

She smiled again, this time with an obvious, exaggerated wink. She walked out the door and I was left alone with the sound of the falling rain outside. It patted against the windows in soft and hard bursts. I looked out the window. You’d think it was dusk fading to night, but it was just the deep gray clouds hugging the city and drenching us in their intense tears. 

It’s odd to be left alone in someone else’s apartment, even one you’ve visited before. It feels like something is missing, and the request to ‘make yourself at home’ can never really be fulfilled. Maybe it could be, but it would be weird. I’d almost feel like I’m defiling the place, even if it was just sitting cross legged on the sofa with my bare feet sitting on the knit surface of the couch. 

I looked around the room. Something mischievous, from a dark dim era of my life made me want to snoop around. Maybe, my old high school self spoke through the fog of the years, something funny or weird could be found. maybe some weird sex toy or some cringy, tear stained letter from an ex.

No, I’m way too old for that shit. I just spun around and looked for the best place to sit and read my book while I waited for the repair man. The apartment was lovingly decorated, if in a unique style. There were a large number of plastic plants, I started counting, but got weirded out when I hit double digits. She had good taste in light, though, I must give her that. Her lamps all gave out a soft yellow glow, and there were fairly lights all around that gave the place a cool air. 

I sat down in an overstuffed dark blue chair that was much less comfortable than it looked. I shifted around trying to find a comfy spot, and sort of found one leaning at a weird angle. I’m not sure why I didn’t just move to one of the other places to sit, but I just rigidly sat there reading and rereading the same page as my mind wondered. 

The doorbell scared the absolute shit out of me. I was lost in a day dream, and it was way louder than I would expect a doorbell to be. I got up, shaken as shit, and went over to the door. I looked out the peephole and a man who certainly looked like a refrigerator repairman was standing there. I opened it without much thought.

He looked at me and narrowed his eyes. He looked down at his phone, then back up at me. “Ms. Liz Choudry?” 

“No, a friend watching her place, she’s at work.” 

“Right. Thought I was in the wrong place. Confused me there.” He was gruff and terse, I liked him off the bat. He looked at me again, motioning a bit with his head, and my spacecadet ass finally let him in. 

I took him to the kitchen and he asked about the problem. I mumbled through saying it wasn’t working, but I didn’t know much else. I think Liz had forgotten to tell me, or if she did, I’d forgotten what she’d said. 

He stuck his hand in the fridge and felt the temp. Then he looked in the freezer. He gave an “Ah.” I stood watching. I’ve never been sure what to do when a repair guy was over. I don’t want to seem like I’m supervising, nor do I want to seem like I’m ignoring them. I just kinda stand there and stay quiet, which is probably the worst thing to do honestly. 

“Got a hair dryer?” He asked.

“What? Why?”

“The freezer is iced up and it’s fucking up the temperature sensors, if you melt the ice with a hair dryer I’ll be fine. I’ll do it for you if you have the equipment.” 

I assumed she had one, though I wasn’t sure where. I didn’t really feel like rooting through her panties to find it, but I also knew she was busy today so I didn’t want to bother her unless necessary. 

“I’m sure she does, most girls do, I guess.” It came out far more sexist than I intended, but I rolled with it. I went into the bathroom, seemed to be the logical place, and under the sink was a fucking hulk of a hair dryer. 

I took it over to the repairman and he too was impressed. “Fuck, does this lady have a shit load of hair or something?”

“No, not that I’ve ever noticed. Maybe it gets extra wet?”

“How would hair get ‘extra’ wet?” The repairman looked at me like I’m an idiot. 

“Yeah, not sure.” 

He blasted the ice, which promptly melted. I toweled up the now liquid water, and the guy checked the temperature again. “Good,” he said. “Give it a few hours, if it isn’t back to normal, call me again.” He said, speaking like a doctor giving a prescription. 

“Sure thing.” 

He started walking to the door. Do I owe you anything? I asked, unsure. 

“Nope, the lady paid. Have a good one, remember to call if it doesn’t get cold.” He showed himself out and I was again alone in the apartment. I heard the fridge running as I grabbed the hairdryer. I put it back in the bathroom and was deafened by the sound of the rain against the windows. 

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