Meet You Downstairs
As Jack descends in the elevator to the basement, it strikes him that he never knew his condo building had a rental suite. Between his hockey commitments and hermit tendencies, there’s still a lot about his own home he doesn’t know despite living here for six years. It’s part of the reason he offered to help out around the building: to keep himself social during the summer season. His parents talked a lot about building a community of friends outside of work, and he knows his way around a toolbox so. Why not?
The basement is… really creepy, actually, reserved for the storage lockers and recycling bins. Even the parking garage is a level up and more inviting than this. There’s only one hallway so Jack follows it, certain he’s going the right way when he hears the voice through the wall.
“It’s fine, Mama. I know you wanted to help me pick out a place but this one is great. It’s in a nice neighbourhood, very secure… Yes, I got your pepper spray in the care package, but please, this is Providence, not New York City.”
Jack doesn’t mean to eavesdrop but he can’t help but notice how young this guy sounds. In a building where the average condo sells for over two million dollars, most of the neighbours he sees in the halls are retirees or working professionals. There aren’t many parties, which he appreciates.
He knocks on the cheap wooden door which rattles in the hinges. No wonder they’re renting this room out instead of selling, he thinks. There’s shuffling on the other side, and Jack hears the boy… man say “Goodness, I think the custodian is here already… of course I have pie who do you think I am? Call you back, love you.”
The door opens and there’s a lingering moment of silence as they each look at the person across from them. This guy looks to be a few years younger than Jack, a bit shorter, lean but with well-defined muscles he can see quite clearly thanks to him wearing the shortest shorts that could possibly be considered not-underwear. He’s staring. Oh boy, he’s staring and he needs to not be doing that so he drags his eyes up and they stall on the loose neckline of his tank top.