The Apartment is a three-part story. It is a mystery that can happen to any of us. Let’s hope it does not. Enjoy Part One.
I STEPPED OFF THE elevator and walked down the hallway. I was deep in thought. When I turned the corner I almost bumped into her.
She had thick black hair and wore dark sunglasses. Her skin looked pale under a light coat of foundation. I smiled at her and said, “Hello.” She smiled back, but did not speak. Her thin lips were covered with flesh tone lipstick. Her posture was perfect. I admired her long neck and graceful looking body. I had never seen her before. She was coming from down my, and my neighbor’s, hallway.
Ahead I could see my neighbor’s doorway. His door was open. I could see the white wall inside his apartment. My first thought was that he left the key in the lock. It would be like him to go inside his apartment and forget to lock it. He was absentminded sometimes. He was a brilliant computer programmer. But his head stayed in the clouds. Nice man. So, I looked after him when I could. He paid me back by fixing and updating my computer for free. My apartment was across from his, but a little to the right.
I went to his door and was about to knock and call out his name. His name was Stephan. I could not help but peek inside his apartment while my knuckles headed for the door.
I stopped myself from knocking. His feet on the floor inside his apartment grabbed my attention. He was lying on the floor. I called out to him and pushed the door all the way open. He had suffered a medical condition was what I thought.
I ran to Stephan and knelt beside him. I shook his shoulder and called out his name. His body rocked. I yelled out for help and shook him again. No one lived with him. I was yelling for other residents to come. But, it was a holiday weekend. Most residents were gone.
I shook him again and yelled for help. No one came. I shook him harder. I saw the blood come out from under him. Had he fallen on something? Had he cut himself? Hit his head?
Stephan was a large man. He was around six feet and two hundred and sixty pounds, or more. He was mostly overweight. He had had some medical issues. That is why I assumed a medical condition. I thought he hit his head and was bleeding. There was a lot of blood. He needed help.
Weighing fewer than one hundred and thirty pounds, it would take every ounce of strength I had if I was going to roll him over onto his back. That was a big if. But I needed to be able to see how to help him.
My fingers and nails dug into his shoulder. My feet were sideways and braced at the bottom on his body. I leaned back to get leverage. As hard as I could, I pulled like hell. My back was killing me. His body began to roll back toward me. It was slow at first. Once momentum took over there was no stopping it.
Unprepared for his weight to crash down on me, I slammed backwards to the floor. His body flopped on top of me and trapped my feet beneath his back and buttocks. It took a few seconds before I could sit up.
Two gaping holes were in his chest. Jagged tissue and bone fragments lined the holes.
I furiously began to work my legs and feet free from under his body. I grunted and swore and pulled and yanked them free. Then I looked at the holes again.
I clapped my hands over my mouth and jumped to my feet and ran from the apartment. Vomit shot from between my fingers and the sides of my hand. It sprayed my door.
I went to put my key in the lock and realized I did not have it. I knew where it was. My entire body was shaking. I yelled for help again. No one came. I touched my pockets for my cell phone. Damn, I thought. I knew where it was, too.
I did not want to turn around. But I had to.
I stared into Stephan’s apartment. On the floor beside his body were my keys and cell phone.
I hope you enjoyed part one of The Apartment. If you did, send it to a friend and follow me on my blog. I wonder what happened to Stephan. I look forward to seeing you next time.