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Moving In

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“Oh, you are moving right below me.“ Miranda points out as they stop at the front door. It’s the same apartment number as hers, just one level below.

“Well, we’ll be hearing each other then.” Jeff, or Joker as he insists his friends call him, lets out a laugh. “Thanks again for helping me with the boxes.” he adds as her takes the box she just carried up the stairs.

“No problem, just being helpful. I was headed this way anyway.”

“So, you live on your own or…?”

“I have a roommate, so it’s the two of us.” Miranda answers, leaning slightly on the staircase’s railing.

“Cool. You should both join us for dinner, you’ll love my girlfriend Edi. She makes a great stew.” His proposal sounds like it is already set in stone, Miranda doesn’t feel like she can decline.

Later that day, she stands at the same front door again, this time with Jack at her side.

“Who are they again?” Jack asks before Miranda knocks on the door.

“They just finished moving today and invited us for dinner. Be nice.” Miranda warns her in a hushed tone as she knocks on the door.

A young woman opens the door, taking a moment to look at both of them with a smile before saying anything.

“Hi, please come in.”

They step into the apartment. It’s a replica of the layout of their own, yet the decorations are rather monochromatic. Introductions are exchanged and Joker comes out from the bedroom area a moment after.

“You are here! I’m so happy you two could make it.” He walks over to them, extending his hand to Jack. “I’m Joker, and you both must have met Edi already.”

“Jack, nice to meet you.” she cracks a smile with some effort, which makes Miranda hold down a slight laugh. Her roommate wasn’t all that great at socialization. “But let’s not stand at the door, come. Let’s sit down, can I get you anything? Beer? Wine?”

Drink teams end up divided. Joker and Jack stick with beer and Edi opens a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon for Miranda and herself. They share some affable conversations and stories, moving over to the dining table once dinner is ready.

“Thanks again for having us, it was really nice.” Miranda is saying her goodbyes to Joker and Edi by the door. Jack has gone on ahead after a short farewell.

“Our pleasure, do come back some other time.” Edi smiles at her as Joker nods, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

“And tell Jack I’ll take her on whenever she wants.” It turns out that the two of them are engineers for opposing companies.

“I’ll pass it on to her.” Miranda laughs, having given up on understanding their friendly quarrels.

“Also, I don’t mean to intrude but don’t let her go. I know Edi had a hard time getting through my thick head, but I’d like to say it was worth it.” he laughs and Edi slaps his arm teasingly. “Jack seems like a great gal and hell, you are both already under the same roof. Don’t let opportunity pass you by.”

He gives her a sincere smile and those words stay with Miranda all the way upstairs. Once inside her apartment, she heads directly to her room. She can hear Jack moving around in her own room and Joker’s comment replays in her head again. Was it so obvious? Miranda isn’t so sure she can keep running away from her feelings much longer.