It was musty before I cleaned the place. Each stair was draped in a blanket of dust. I walked up them, making footprints behind me. I could smell the lingering odor of fesus in the air. I questioned how he could have lived there; how he could close his eyes knowing that the piles and piles of dirty inside out clothes could suffocate him. I walked towards the kitchen where the floor was beginning to turn a weird shade of yellow. Brown liquid was dripping out of the broken clogged sink. I was afraid to question. Walking back to living area, there was a small pile of crumpled up tissues lying on the ground. I wondered what the story was, behind those tissues. Was he crying as he finished the bottle of Jameson that was turned over on its side? Was he wondering why life has given him such curve balls? Was he scared of what the future held? Was he going through old pictures, reminiscing on the good times when the people were real and the times were good? Drips of alcohol stained the white paper surrounding the pictures in the album. A frozen memory of him and his brother looked back at me. His smile was the biggest I’d ever seen as he lightly held a can of Coors Light in his hand. It was winter because they were wearing sweatshirts and they were at a bar with many people I didn’t recognize. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him. That man in the picture would never have left this place like this. That man cared about himself. That man had a heart. I looked out the dirty window of the apartment and wondered where he could be. What he was doing, but I hope whatever he was doing, I was hoping he was happy.
Rain beat on the windows as the days went on and as the rain pounded against the rooftops the more I missed him. It had been a week I was starting to get worried. To keep my mind off the pain and the anxiety, I started to clean. I didn’t even clean my own place, so cleaning this roach coach was a shock to even myself. The more I thought about his disappearance, the more I cleaned, and the more I cleaned, madder I got. I scrubbed the floor thinking that if the house was clean he’d want to come back, that things would change. I heard ambulances and police cars wiz down the street as more horrible scenarios filled my already boggled brain. How could a man I love so much just leave and not tell me? What kind of idiot am I that don’t know where he could be? What kind of asshole waits here, thinking he will come home? As I sat on the sticky kitchen floor I recalled all the times of the two of us sitting on the floor drunk and silly. Kissing, talking, and laughing at stupid things, being kids, being together. At that time I thought he would never leave. I would never be waiting for him to come home. Memories began to waterlog my brain as I stared up at the table and counter from the floor. The water from my brain rolled down my warm face. I sobbed into the dirty floor as the comfort of his clothes surrounded me.
People say that a watch pot never boils, but I say that a watched phone never rings, and with that I waited. Weeks had gone by and I started to feel amputated. His house felt so empty, so cold without his warm presence. Every time I walked up the stairs I was waiting to see him silently sleeping on the couch, but instead it was just like I left it the night before. The tenet started to call and I let the phone ring like an alarm clock. I was getting sick of this irresponsible game he was playing and people were getting worried. His friends would come looking for him, neighbors would ask questions. I had no answers to give. As I cleaned, I found old papers, hoping maybe something would give me an answer. As went through the old pictures and books, I can across a plain notebook and it had a small heart in the corner. I know I shouldn’t have, but I opened it. It was filled with old movie stubs, pictures of him and her, letters, To Do Lists. I realized how beautiful she was. How much she loved him and how much she wanted things to work out for them. Maybe he went to find her, but I found that hard to believe. He never mentioned her; he would say that the past was no longer important. That man in those pictures with her was a different man that I know. While rummaging through the papers, I found her phone number on a small napkin. I slipped it in my pocket. Maybe she knew something I didn’t. Maybe she could help me get him back.
There will be more.. thought you’d wanna hear more of my attempt at fiction.