when I was 17 the first girl I’d ever loved told me if her parents found out about how I looked at her she’d be homeless. we cried for 2 days straight, and I told about concrete counter tops. I told her about dark hardwood floors with at least three knit blankets on every couch. Our bedroom facing west because even though I love the sunrise, you look the best in our bed covered in nothing but the deep purple of sunset. The library that would smell like our books had been there longer than our home had been standing on solid foundation, stone, reliable. Sweet girl, I know they say not to make homes out of people but I don’t want anyone else’s dirty dishes on my counter. I don’t want to take the trash out for anyone else at 11pm. You’re the only person I’d race to kill a spider for in the shower. How could you ever be without a home when every time I look at you I’m building ours.
play doh on hardwood floors, dark green carpeted staircase, boxes of soda by the door, floam slime, stickers on a coffee table, little fenced backyard, blue pool sparkling in the sunlight, summer cookouts, playstation 2, silly putty on newspaper, a navy blue couch, bike rides down the sidewalk, hoodsie cups, classic rock on the radio, 2003 car calendar on the basement door
——Just a lil sum sum…I wrote this in the car like five minutes ago…sorry if it sucks but I thought it was kinda funny 😅——
I spoke quietly to Justin as I approached him in the kitchen. He stood, leaning over the counter while scrolling through Twitter on his phone.
Dressed simply in a dark blue t-shirt and black skinny jeans, I took it that he’d just gotten back from the recording studio. My heels clicked against the dark brown hardwood floors as I neared him and I brushed my fingertips over his elbow before leaning up to press a chaste peck on his lips.
Just as I was turning away to get a banana from the rack near the cupboard, Justin grabbed hold of me by my waist and pulled me into his chest. Smiling down at me, he slipped his hand down to cup my ass. “You look hot, baby.” He complimented, chewing on his lip as his creamy chocolate eyes raked me up and down. I’d just gotten back from a lunch date with Kendall, Ariana, and GiGi and I didn’t have time to change yet, so I was still sporting my semi-formal attire.
“Thanks,” I cheesed, hoisting myself up on my tiptoes to give him another kiss.
Instead of allowing me the leeway to leave this time, he pulled me in front of him, squeezing my curves between his heated chest and the kitchen counter. I didn’t have time to protest, for he’d pulled out his phone, sucking in his lip between his teeth and grabbed a harsh handful of my left breast, snapping a picture, and posting it to Snapchat.
“Justin!” I squealed, forcibly removing myself from his grip. He laughed, rolling his eyes and annoyed, I hit him softly in the back, “Why would you do that?” Without a doubt, I knew that the fandom would go crazy and that picture would make the headlines for the next few days.
“Just showing off what’s mine.” He trailed pressing a wet kiss to my lips. I sighed and started towards the bedroom, jumping as I felt a stinging smack to my backside. “Run a bath,” he called.
Why are mob boss’ houses always so…big? You don’t wanna say Barry lives in a mansion, but Barry lives in a mansion! Your room alone is basically the size of your entire apartment! Tugging on your knitted gray sweater, your striped socks slide on the dark hardwood floor, bringing to the double doors of the dining room.
Pressing your ear to the dark brown door, you can make out muffled voices on the other side. “Tell Zolomon he can go fuck himself.” Barry’s voice spits over the sound of the wood bottoms of his shoes pacing. There’s a pause. “Nah, nah, nah, you misunderstood me so, I’m gonna say it again, okay? Open ya ears this time. Zolomon ain’t gettin’ anything from my goddamn house, especially her. He asks again, I’ll make sure he gets the message myself.” Something drops on the table, you assume the phone, and he sighs.
Gulping, you debate on whether you should knock or not. Yes, it’s time for dinner, but after that phone call, would Barry want to be left alone? Did this kind of thing happen regularly? Well, here goes nothing; you cautiously knock on the door, quietly, so he wouldn’t be disrupted. The double doors slide open and your face to face with Cisco. You wiggle your fingers shyly, earning a slight nod from him as he allows you to enter.
Carefully, you take a few steps into the room, gawking a bit. It has high ceilings like the rest of the house with dark chocolate brown walls and a long table to match; potted plants are scattered throughout the room. Barry motions for you to take a seat at the opposite head of the table, furthest from him; his dark button down revealing the gold chain on his neck. Instead, you walk towards him, sitting on the chair at his right. “That was kinda far if it’s just us eating.” you explain, scrunching your nose as you shrug.
His bubblegum pink tongue slides across his top teeth while his green eyes stare at you for a moment. Awkwardly, you blow your cheeks out, gazing around the room, taking everything in. “So…” you start off, watching his thumb fiddle with the silver ring on his pinky finger. “Who’s Zolomon…?” you ask quietly, unsure if that’s a question you should be asking.
Barry sucks in a breath, eyeing Cisco when he brings out the two plates, setting the elegant dinnery in front of the both of you. “Thanks, Cisco. Have a nice night, bud.” he nods; Cisco cracks a little smile, exiting. His long pale fingers wrap around the fork and knife, digging into his steak and taking a bite. “Zolomon is a man you don’t need to worry about.” he mutters as he chews, pointing his fork at you, “Don’t be afraid of him either. He’s all talk, alright?” You nod and he goes back to his food, cutting the meat. “Now on, everywhere I go, you go, understood?”
You blink for a second, lips morphing into a scowl. “I’m not your property, Barry! You can’t just - you can’t just force me to do…things because you say so!” you fume, rising from your chair, hands gripping the edge of the table.
His jaw tenses and he places the silverware down, standing up. His face looks dark, almost on the verge of evil. The ten long fingers bend on the brown wood table, showing off the eight rings he has on. “Do you want to die?” You shake your head. “Thought so. I’m doing everything to protect you from injury. That is why you need to be by my side at all times, do I make myself clear?” he asks through gritted teeth. Gulping, you nod your head. “Good.”
It feels funny now that the apartment where my boyfriend and I built a home is emptied of furniture, holes in the walls from where a handyman helped us hang beautiful things we scooped at discount stores upstate, driving through tree-lined country roads on our way to bucolic towns in the springtime. Pretty soon they’ll slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls, shut off the cable, sand the dark hardwood floors, and it’ll just be another transient space that we passed through on our way to somewhere else. I wonder if you think about this place, or wish things had been different.
It was spring two years ago that my boyfriend and I were falling in love, all those thrilling gusts of breathless sentiment and promises—the end of loneliness, the end of first dates—and spring again last year that we moved into this apartment. This spring, he left and I knew he wasn’t coming back.
Before us, it was you and Brian. The realtor who showed us this apartment mentioned you, though she didn’t use your names. The rent was subsidized, she said, because the people who lived here were breaking their lease and paying part of it to rent it quickly. They were paying the broker’s fee, too. It would save us thousands. “Why are they breaking their lease?” I asked. “They broke up?” The realtor demurred. “They broke up,” I said.
My boyfriend loved it—the kitchen that gleamed; the dimensions of the living room, capacious by Manhattan standards; the convenient location; the price that was reasonable, again by Manhattan standards, for a one-bedroom in a doorman building on the Upper East Side. It was so fancy—the fanciest place I had ever lived in New York City by a mile.
But I didn’t want to live there. It was stupid and superstitious, I knew, but I was skittish about building a home amidst the dissolution of someone else’s relationship—all those cinders. I didn’t want to get burned. When I looked up the building online, there were complaints about the street noise, the mismanagement, the endless parade of temporary doormen. Rich people, I thought, and their petty complaints. Still, if it was going to be our home, I felt like I should do my due diligence and find out for sure.
I called the broker. “The internet does not like this building,” I said. She laughed. “The girl whose lease you’re taking over—she never would have rented anywhere that wasn’t top-notch.” Her voice dropped an octave. “Between you and me, her parents wouldn’t have let her.” It allayed my anxiety. The problem wasn’t the building—the problem was that you were so high-maintenance. Still, it rattled me to think about the energy that you and Brian had left behind. I almost backed out the day before we signed the lease. But I didn’t.
You were there to sign the documents to turn the lease over to us, in a cramped conference room in a nondescript midtown office building. You were wearing a trendy fur vest and designer heels, cheekbones so sharp they could slice your hand open, unsmiling, prune-faced, stinking of perfume. I said it was nice to meet you, and you didn’t say anything back.
A week later, I took a cab down to a funky little hole-in-the-wall storefront in the East Village that sells witchy knickknacks and bought a smudge stick, then carried it through the apartment as ash sprinkled down onto a white porcelain plate, letting plumes of fragrant white smoke snake through the living room. I didn’t really believe it would work, nor did I really believe that it wouldn’t. Still, I said a little prayer, asking that whatever darkness you had left here would evaporate.
It didn’t. The first thing I noticed was the chip in the granite on the sink. I made up stories about it. I imagined Brian cracking a beer open there, too drunk to find the bottle opener—did you hate his drinking?—you sniping at him, resenting him a little bit more every time you washed a dish and saw that aberration in the smooth line of the granite. There was no storage in the too-small bathroom, so we installed a vanity and put in shelves, and then it was too claustrophobic to ever feel comfortable.
The street noise was relentless. Honking so loud it sounded like you were standing outside. Endless drilling from construction projects. Jackhammering on the weekends. It was always too hot or too cold. We bought four lamps and yet the living room always felt unlit. Even on the eighth floor, there was never a moment where direct sunlight actually filled the room. We bought beautiful furniture that looked cold and sad and dark in our beautiful apartment, where the noise was always too loud to be at peace. I looked up studies about noise pollution. Rats exposed to it over time go insane, and we were rats, trapped in our expensive sterile box in the sky, growing more and more agitated until we turned on each other. Until we turned on each other for the last time.
We got your mail. We should have forwarded it to you, but we didn’t. I’m sorry about that.
In three days, I never have to come back to this apartment, and I’ve been thinking about you a lot. The way you looked that day, signing those papers. How cold and unkind you were. I thought you were truly awful, but I wonder if I was wrong to judge you so harshly. All year, I just assumed that you drove Brian away. I don’t know why I thought that, but I did.
The possibility never occurred to me that maybe you had done your best. That you had tried a million different ways, and couldn’t make it work, no matter how fiercely you loved him. That your desperation to get out of the apartment—a need so urgent you would spend thousands to rent it out quickly—wasn’t because you were so privileged, but because the pain of staying in the home you built with a man you loved after he was gone was so enormous that you just had to go. It must have been so sad for you, remembering how you had laughed and wept and made love in this place, only to have it all come to a premature end.
Or maybe it wasn’t premature after all. Maybe relationships, like leases, just come to an end sometimes. And when that happens, you pack up your things. You say goodbye. And you find a new home.
“Come on…it’s ready. Come see it,” Taylor urged, grabbing his hand and practically dragging Adam up off the couch and towards the kitchen.
“I finally get to see it?” he asked, putting his laptop down on the coffee table, and taking his headphones off. Adam had been reviewing a few of the tracks he was getting ready to release, to make sure they sounded just perfect.
“Yes. The ‘kitchen ban’ has officially been lifted.”
Adam stood, his bare feet greeting the deep red rug that covered the dark hardwood floors of Taylor’s Nashville apartment. She continued to pull on his arm, guiding him towards the airy kitchen.
“Okay, close your eyes,” Taylor instructed, as they neared the counter. She let go of his hand and put her arm around his back, leaning into his side. “Ready?”
Through a laugh, Adam replied, “Ready.” He moved his arm to drape it over her shoulders.
“Okay,” she said, moving her other hand toward the cake to remove the glass cover, which she placed on the wooden counter top.
Random drabble w/Tommy, Felicity and Oliver.It’s set after season 4 so in this world he didn’t die. I hope you enjoy!
“Books and Roommates”
Felicity strummed her fingers along the broken down binding of the often read book. The yellowed pages and musty smell evoked a sense of familiarity as she flipped through the various marked pages. She smiled at the statements written in the margins, her eyes rolled at times when she came across some stray equations.
The air around her suddenly grew cold, the fickler of the three wick candle on the stove top grew wild as the shadow it created began to dance. She shivered then sighed when she heard the heavy thud of his dirt caked boots hitting the dark brown of her hardwood floors. She slipped the blanket up until the soft fabric could be felt against her jaw. Her visitor stilled then signed, “You only bring that out when you’re feeling lost…” as he began to move towards the kitchen.
Felicity eyed him humorlessly, “You’re getting dirt on my clean floors.”
She couldn’t see his eyes since the mask hid the emotions they usually openly conveyed. His trademark smirk was hidden by the shadow his hood cast over his chiseled jaw. The line of his shoulders dipped when he bent down to open the lower cabinet door just beneath her stainless steel sink. “Felicity why are you reading that dribble? I mean I realize it’s considered a classic but you while reading it is not.”
She attempted to frown at his attempt at humor but failed when she let out a soft giggle. “I know, I know,” she repeated softly while leaning back into the front of her white couch. With the back of her head now planted firmly on one of the cushions she asked, “Are you ever going to just ask where the damn bowl is?”
He scoffed, “Please I reorganized this kitchen last week…” he took a dramatic pause before she saw the edge of his hooded head rise over the top of the counter. “You didn’t…” he pleaded as she slowly lifted her head and shrugged.
“He was complaining that he couldn’t find anything so…”
Her visitor’s eyes would have been burning red if the light could highlight his eyes. “Traitor!” he cried right as he slammed a gloved fist onto her newly installed granite counter tops.
She smirked, “Wow and I thought Oliver had a temper.”