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Cindy and George
Cindy walked down the hallway, digging through her purse for her house key. She had spent the day showing her listings to a young couple from Nebraska looking to get away from their family who thought they were too young to get married. Cindy didn’t know why they wanted to come to Cincinnati of all places, but showed them her small number of listings anyways. After all that they hadn’t decided on a house, and told her they would get back to her after thinking on it back at their hotel. That was fine with Cindy, she was just hoping for a good sale to come around. The last house she sold was to two girls from Columbus who were looking for something more exciting, but still close to home. That was a few months ago.
Cindy stopped in front of her door and cursed silently as she continued to dig through her purse for her keys. She wasn’t the one who lost her keys usually, it was George. She couldn’t count on two hands how many times George had locked herself out or lost her keys and Cindy has had to let her in. Cindy knocked on the door, but received no response from George. She knocked again, hoping George was there, but there was no answer. She pressed her back to do her door and sighed, pressing her face in her hands. All she wanted to do was get inside so she could relax with a glass of wine. She slouched to the floor and decided she would wait for however long George would be gone. Cindy lifted her head when she heard a door open across from her and saw Fred looking down at her with a sympathetic smile.
“Hi Cindy,” He greeted her, closing his door behind him.
“Hey Fred,” She said back, regaining her composure, getting up off the floor and smoothing out her skirt.
“How was work?” He placed his hands behind his back and rocked on his heels.
“Um, it was good. I showed a few houses to a nice couple and I think it went really well.” She hoped putting those words into the universe would prove true enough and the couple would spontaneously text her, telling her they wanted to buy, but Cindy knew better. They were young, stupid teenagers that didn’t even know what an appraisal was.
“It doesn’t look so good,” Fred said, “I mean, you look fine, but you were cursing and stuff… Not that I was spying or anything! I just happened to hear you from my apartment while I was feeding Bea and when I came out to see what was going on, you were, uh, cradled in front of your door…. I’m just assuming that… it doesn’t look like a good day.” Fred wiped the sweat from his hands on his jeans and looked down at the floor, hoping he didn’t cross a line.
“Thanks for checking up on me, Fred,” Cindy sighed, “Sorry if I bothered you at all, I just think I lost my apartment keys and I don’t know when George is going to be home tonight.”
“Oh, that’s it?”
Cindy looked up at him with a bewildered look and he cleared his throat, snapping into reality. He began walking down the hallway, Cindy watching him from the door of her apartment. She watched him bend down and lift the potted plant by the elevator and grab something from under it. He walked back and opened his hand to Cindy, revealing a key with a bold “C” on it. Cindy gasped and looked up at him, “How did you know where this was?!”
“I, uh, saw George put it under the plant while I was leaving to walk Bea. I just took a guess it was your key,” He said sheepishly with a smile. Cindy grabbed the key from his hand quickly and kissed the key enthusiastically.
“Thank you, Fred!” She exclaimed and hugged him quickly. She pulled away a second later, but left Fred frozen. She patted his shoulder and crossed the hall, opening the door to her apartment and leaving Fred stood in the hallway alone. From the comfort of her apartment, she could hear a quiet cheering and shook her head with a smile.
Cindy turned the corner into the kitchen still shaking her head when she smelled it. Fire. “No, no, no, no!” Cindy muttered as she quickly dropped her purse on the counter and ran into George’s room. George sat on the floor headphones in, their dog, Rotty, curled up in the corner watching George apprehensively from her dog bed in the corner ,while George had hauled planks of wood into her room and was currently burning them with a blowtorch in her hand.
“And I-e-I will always love yoooouuu- hey!” yelled George as she turned her flame on who she assumed to be an intruder when her headphone was torn from her ear only to come face to face with Cindy. “Oh hey, I thought you were working till six tonight…” said George nervously under the disapproving stare of Cindy.
“It’s seven, genius. Wait, is that why you thought you’d get away with the ‘no-fire-in-the-apartment’ rule we made after the horror in the kitchen last year?” said Cindy accusingly as she stared down at her roomate.
“Well to be fair this is the table you asked me to make.” replied George, suddenly getting a second wind of bravery in the few seconds of bravery. She very quickly regretted it.
“Ah I see,” said Cindy, as she crouched down to just above eye level with George, “so because you ruined our last table with motor oil you thought it’d be okay to go behind my back?” Cindy’s smile had grown, chilling George to the core, “Not to mention you have a perfectly nice workshop in our garage downstairs, you know… that spot where I should be parking my car instead of walking three blocks home every day.” Cindy finished waiting for some sort of reply from George.
George didn’t know what to say. It was perhaps one of the few times in her life that she didn’t have some sort of comeback. “I’m sorry.” said George looking down guiltily. Cindy sighed and sat down on the floor next to George and felt bad.
“Look,” said Cindy resolutely deciding not to torture her best friend anymore, “I just had a really long day, I got locked out of the apartment-”
“At least we have a hide-a-key.” interrupted George
(not finished, sorry)