Welcome to the A to Z Challenge : 26 Stories during the month of April
Welcome to… The Apartment Building
They had been ostracized, kept at arms length (and beyond, in some cases), by the majority of the inhabitants of Swan Rise Apartments when they first moved in. This was mainly by those who lived their lives by decades in the building, unwilling or unable to let go of how “things used to be.” The younger generations, and the newer tenants, didn’t seem to care, much.
“They” were Marc and Sean, married. The gossip mongers had a field day in passing the news along in hallways, the elevator, the laundry room, the stairway (when it was used) and even the parking lot. While the rumors spread over the years about this one or that one (especially Frank, when they thought of him at all), this was the first openly gay couple in the building.
Marc was more outgoing and greeted everyone he met with a smile. Sean was more reticent, holding back as he felt, he said, the eyes boring into him when encountering the others. “The elevator is the worst,” he’d say to Marc over dinner. “There’s no place to escape until that damned door opens.”
The buzz lessened as the months passed and the two of them became everyday fixtures in the comings and goings. There was never any loud music playing from their apartment, their guests were always quiet and polite, and the seasonal wreaths that graced their door was always in great taste. They both dressed well and it was commented, more than once, how “clean” they always seemed to appear.
Sean stayed away from the laundry room during these initial months, but Marc had fun working around the yentas. He helped them when he was allowed to, and finally was allowed in on sharing some of the gossip.
Around the time “the boys” (as the Laundry Room Mafia called them) moved in, another couple moved in. Jan and Mike were also married, and at first were immediately accepted into the environs. The married part was the only thing they had in common with Marc and Sean.
Jan and Mike fought constantly, and not always in their own abode. Doors were slammed, shouting down the hallways were heard at all hours, and there was crying. Jan played the TV during the day, loud, and was told to turn it down by neighbors and the Andres the super. This got Mike angry, and he fought with others in the lobby and then took it up to fight with Jan in their apartment.
The police had to be called in, twice, in a four month period.
Marc and Sean were holding hands, waiting for the elevator to go upstairs. They heard the noises from up the shaft and they could hear that the door was pinging, trying to close, but obviously it was being held. Sean pounded on the ground floor door and shouted; Marc tried to shush him, but Sean was impatient.
Mike burst out of the elevator, Jan behind him, both of them growling at each other. He ran right into Marc, Sean reacted, names were called (first by Jan, then Mike) and it wound up with Sean with a bloody nose and the super pinning Mike on the ground. Andres yelled for his wife to call the cops (she already had) and when it was all over and done with, Mike and Jan were taken to court and their lease broken.
Marc and Sean stayed for another two years at the Swan Rise. They bought a small house upstate. They visited Mrs. Beatty, whom they befriended, every Christmas.