Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Being Neighborly by Nicole Gestalt

Adriana closed and locked her letterbox, the few letters that had arrived this morning clutched in her left hand. She stopped as she passed the porters’ room as she always did, and leaned in to see if he was there.

Matt, she didn’t actually know his last name, had worked as a porter for as long as she had lived here. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes. She thought he rather looked like Father Christmas, and had often laughed with him about it. Matt’s children had grown up and left the city a long time ago, and he rarely saw anyone outside of the flats these days. His wife had passed on during the previous year, and since then Adriana had always taken a few minutes to pop in to say hello and, when she had time, share a cup of coffee in front of his little electric fire.

Matt wasn’t in, and she was just about to leave when she decided to check behind his desk. When a package arrived that was too large for the letterbox, Matt took them and placed them on a shelf behind his desk. Usually he would also drop them off to the flat it was addressed to, and could often turn up wandering around with parcels.

A large, brown paper wrapped box caught her gaze. She read the flat number and realised it was addressed to her mystery guy. It wasn’t marked with any recognisable return address, and she was a bit disappointed when she couldn’t work out what was in the package. Still, she thought, it wouldn’t do any harm to go and deliver the parcel. She could introduce herself at the same time. Glancing at his name she said it out aloud, allowing the sound to roll around on her tongue.

“Andrew Morganson.” She liked how it felt as it rolled off her tongue. Already her body was anticipating that this one act would lead to ones so much more personal. It had been too long since she last had a guy want to be with her, to make her feel wanted, full, and content.

Placing the package down upon Matt’s desk, she quickly wrote him a note letting him know she was delivering it, then, holding the package and resisting the urge to shake it, she began to make her way upstairs. On a whim, she ducked into her flat to make sure she was presentable. Normally she wasn’t too worried with looking pristine, but she wanted to make the first impression a great one. Once everything was to her approval, she made her way upstairs.

Adriana knocked loudly; the sound echoed and melted away into silence. Frowning, she paused. Maybe no one was in. Just as she was about to knock again she heard a key in the door, and held her breath as the door opened.

“Oh, hello.” A woman stood still, her hand resting on the doorframe. Deep blue eyes sparkled and Adriana was lost for words, partly in shock because a woman had opened the door, but also because she found herself captivated by the woman’s eyes. Snapping out of it, she held out the package.

“Hi! I live in the flat just below you. I hope you don’t mind, but I was down getting my mail and thought I’d bring this up to you to save Matt a trip.” She was gushing.

The woman appeared delighted by the package and took it from her.

“Why thank you, I don’t think we’ve been introduced before now. My name is Cassie Morganson, my husband’s Andrew, I would introduce you but he’s just gone into town for some bits and pieces.” She thrust out her hand and took hold of Adriana’s in greeting.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Cassie, I’m Adriana.” He was married. She knew that would have been a possibility. Her gaze wandered over Cassie, taking in her looks. Her auburn hair was swept up away from her face, enhancing her striking features. She appeared to be tall, young and slender, although her body was mostly hidden from view by the apron she wore. As if Cassie realised what Adriana was doing, she brushed down the apron.

“Sorry I was just going some baking and…oh the oven’s still on…one second.” Cassie turned and disappeared left down the apartment’s corridor. Adriana stood in shock, not sure if she had seen right or not, for it had appeared to her that Cassie, other than the apron––she was naked.

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