Sylvie heard the faint din of two voices, one male and on female, as she approached the apartment. She hoped it wasn't taken yet. The sign only went up yesterday and it wasn't advertised in the newspapers or online. Even so, there seemed to be plenty of empty rooms so maybe there'd be one for her. With her lithe fingers, she lightly pushed the door open, just enough to see the profile of a very beautiful and chiseled face belonging to the athletic body of a woman slightly older than she. Close to her stood a man who she assumed was the landlord. He stood like a man who preferred simple things like trees and lakes instead of televisions, technology and lights that kept you up at night.
What was a man like that doing in this city? He'd stand out in the crowds, if he ever decided to go out, being all clean, free and honest, Sylvie thought. She wanted to keep watching but knew that it'd be preferential if she introduced herself instead of the two discovering her presence by chance.
She knocked on the open door but the two she diligently watched kept talking to each other.
"Um, hello," Sylvie said. The landlord's eyes narrowed as the woman turned around and smiled at her.
"Hi," the woman said. " How are you?"
"I'm fine, thanks for asking." Sylvie gazed around the beautiful apartment as she entered it. She could feel the silky crunchiness of sawdust under her feet as she walked. "Is the apartment taken already?"
"Um, yeah sorry. Hi, I'm Juliet. Nice to meet you," Sylvie took the outstretched hand and shook it in the familiar physical salutation.
"Sylvie, nice to meet you too." Sylvie then held out her hand towards the man. His hand was warm, she noted, and he was obviously very anxious to please the woman beside him.
"Max," he said and tightly gripped her hand.
"There aren't any other rooms available?" Sylvie asked.
"Sure there are, right Max?" Juliet said nervously. " I feel so bad having taken this wonderful apartment. Max is no nice. He didn't even wait for a background check or references and just handed me the keys just before you came. I noticed a few empty apartments downstairs so I'm sure that we'll be neighbors. But that's up to Max. I'm sorry I'm babbling. I should get back to work. Bye Max. Sylvie."
The sound of Juliet's heels against the hardwood floor faded progressively as Sylvie and Max stared at each other. The F train passed by as a breeze cooled their skin.