(In 2018 I wrote a chapter a week to a story titled Banana Pancakes. I’ve decided to re-post these each week through 2020 wit some changes)
In the apartment Troy carries two cardboard boxes into his then empty bedroom and drops them amongst other boxes. Kyle trudges in with another box and sticks it with the rest.
“That’s all of them.” Kyle says, putting a hand on Troy’s shoulder.
Troy shrugs him off and Kyle gives him a nod, “Look, we’re here for you. Stay as long as you need to.”
Claire stands in the doorway with two mugs of coffee. “Come on drinks guys. You’ve done some hard work getting all these boxes up here.” Claire hands he mugs to both Kyle and Troy.
“Thanks guys. Appreciate all of this. Look, I’m just going to unpack for a bit and….” Troy says.
Claire holds her hands up, “We get it Troy. We’re here if you need us. Come on you.” She says grabbing Kyle and pulling him out the door.
The door closes behind and Troy opens a box where a bottle of Jack Daniels hides amongst some clothes and he pours some into his mug taking a sip.
Sitting back down onto his mattress, he opens his laptop and plays a song and “Heartbeat” from Childish Gambino echoes the room. He sips the mug again and then takes the bottle swigging it back and resting his head against the wall looking round the room with a tear rolling down his face.
Troy holds two cardboard boxes on top of one another as he tries to open what seems like an apartment door. He shifts his fingers to the handle but can’t budge it, then tries to twist backwards and force his way through until the door suddenly opens.
There stands Jess as Troy nearly toppled over.
“Could have knocked.” Jess says.
Troy raises an eyebrow, “Could have but the man round these parts can’t do something like that.”
Jess leads Troy in and closes the door behind her. Inside the apartment, the walls are white and everything is bland. Very little colour enters anywhere except a pile of brown boxes next to the sofa.
“Is that the last of them? Just stick those with the rest.” Jess says as she has a box on the kitchen counter open rummaging inside of it.
Troy puts the boxes down, “Nah, another few are downstairs. Kyle just dropped one so him and Claire are Erm, picking what remains off the floor.”
Jess’ head pops from round the kitchen unit into the conjoined living area, “Please tell me your kidding. It’s all a big joke, right.”
Troy shakes his head, “Id love to say yeah to that but nope. Box marked fragile is something Kyle should not touch at all.”
Jess still raids the cardboard box pulling various items and bubble wrap out, “Have you see these damn mugs anywhere?”
Troy looks round at the boxes on the floor beside him as his eyes move from side to side then he starts shaking his head, “Yeah so fragile was the mugs and, well that’s what was dropped, so put that all together and you get…”
“You get no mugs. Damn. Well this will have to do.” Jess picks out some small bowls and grabs the fresh made coffee form the counter pouring it in. “I’ll make do.” She pours four bowls out and hands one to Troy.
“Bowl of coffee?” He says as it’s handed over to him.
“I’m thinking a stand out on the Markets down the road, you know Jess’ mug’o’bowls. I think they’ll sell like fire.” Jess laughs off.
“This is all finally ours.” Troy said as Jess wanders over to him.
“Took long enough didn’t it? ‘No let’s not move into yours or mine, let’s get somewhere new?’ Isn’t that what you said?” Jess says back.
Troy shrugs “Well yeah, true. My place was a swanky bachelor pad and yours, well it was in that weird East Manhattan art, hipster weird area.”
“Weird twice in one sentence, some writer you are Troy.” Jess laughs as she does she holds a remote and presses the play button.
Music starts to echo through the apartment as a beat plays throughout. The pair kids and start dancing in the room.
The door to the apartment clicks open then a slam shut. “Sorry, didn’t mean to slam the door.” A voice says.
Claire and Kyle appear carrying a few boxes, “Wait a minute so we’re busting ass downstairs, up eight flights of stairs and here’s you guys dancing away.” Kyle says.
“There’s an elevator, you did know that right?” Troy says back.
Jess goes to help Claire with her boxes and puts them in the pile.
“Well, now I know.” Kyle says back to Troy.
“Bowls of coffee for more hard workers.” Jess says as she hands them to Claire and Kyle.
Claire looks at the bowl then looks at Jess with a confused face, “I’m not even going to ask.”
“I am, what the hell?” Kyle says to Jess as she hands him his.
“Someone broke the mugs Kyle didn’t they.” Jess replies back and waves a hand off to him.