Part Six

I hadn’t heard from Quinn in a few weeks. It wasn’t unusual for us to go this long without speaking, but the nature of her last call told me that this time was different. I hadn’t meant to stand her up, but Sam was beginning to act strangely. The night Quinn called me, I was supposed to be going to see her but Sam had come over unannounced with a list of things she needed to talk about. She’d been doing it for weeks now and I didn’t know how to blow her off if I wasn’t prepared.
“You’re always out somewhere,” she’d whine whenever I parted my lips to protest against another night of talking or sitting in my living room pretending to listen to her talk. And when she wasn’t sure if I was really listening, I’d get showered with a million and one questions about where I went, what I did and how many breaths did I take that day. She was never this smothering before and we always allowed each other space and time alone or with our friends. Now it was like I couldn’t sneeze without Sam asking me why.
I finally was granted a pardon when Sam told me she would be hanging out with her mother and sister. Some spa day or whatever. All I knew was that I was happy to have her out of my hair for the day.
After hitting the gym and showering, I collapsed on my living room couch. I turned on the television and began to mindlessly surf through channels. I’m not a big TV watcher aside from sporting events and the occasional weather report. I landed on one of the movie channels my cable service provided and noticed that one of Quinn’s favorite movies was on. I couldn’t tell you much about the plot. I only remembered the way Quinn would laugh hysterically when the main character told a joke or found herself in an awkward situation. I missed her laugh. I missed her.
I reached for my cellphone and scrolled through my contacts. Landing on her name, I hit “call” and waited to her her usual greeting for me. “Hey loser!” she’d say. But there was no such greeting this time. I was met with the automated voicemail telling me to leave a message after the tone. Maybe she’s taking a nap. I thought as I hung up the phone. She could always nap over here. Or maybe she’s still mad at me.
I was never the type to pop up on people at their homes but all of a sudden, I was overcome with a feeling of urgency. I needed her around right that minute. I grabbed my keys to my apartment and hurried out the door. I usually made this trip when I needed an escape. When Sam and I were fighting. Or when I was lonely or needed a laugh. I found myself in front of her door, a little short of breath. I didn’t realize that I practically sprinted up the two flights of stairs that separated our floors. I heard voices coming from inside the apartment and assumed her TV was on. I pounded my fist on her door. As soon as my knocking stopped, so did the voices.
“Who is banging on my door like they’re the police??? Is that the delivery guy??”
I smiled and prepared a witty response for when she would open the door. But before I could get a word out and then scoop her into my arms, a pair of unfamiliar eyes met my confused glare.
“Can I help you?” he asked.

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