I wanted to scream! I had both of my hands full and I could feel the irritating buzz in my hip pocket. Was I supposed to toss my bags around for the sake of his phone call? No way was I picking it up right now! As if demanded, the buzzing stopped. Well, that settled it then I huffed – not as if there was anywhere to call back to.
I used my hips to press myself through the crack of the door. Something was blocking it from the other side. The bag wanted to escape from between my fingers and I was in hurry. I needed to get it on top of the table and save myself from cleaning action I otherwise would have had to take up.
I got the breath out and the bag landed right where I was hoping, when my ears caught the pipes humming. Very similar to the sound it made, when I was under shower.
After pulling handles closed, I headed upstairs searching for the reason. I didn’t check taps before I left. I was in hurry, was I so reckless to leave them on? That would be a day! Instead I feared it could be blown-up pipe. The house was old, heaven knows, when they last changed the pipes.
I went upstairs and heard the splashing go louder. Suddenly it was accompanied by broad baritone loud and wrong singing some self-composed opera. I froze for a good moment and pulled back downstairs and in the kitchen, where I hid behind the wall and gave myself time to think. After today’s encounter in the shop, I wasn’t interested in anyone around or in my house.
My eyes moved on a yellow wine bottle on the table. I tried to remember, why couldn’t I recognize it, when the stupidity of my thoughts cleared for me – the owner of the bottle was right now upstairs enjoying my hot water. Now, wasn’t that nice! The intruders brought their own weapons for victims to protect themselves.
“Ain’t that convenient…” I grabbed it from the neck.
I went back upstairs, much faster now and sneaked through the bedroom and in my bathroom. I was welcomed by strip of men’s clothing. Leather jacket, the same set of trousers, black tank top, navy blue undies, one stinky sock followed by another… All the clothes and frippery one man can own, up to big signet ring. Closest to the threshold was laying silver lighter decorated with three headed Cerberus.
I let my hand fall. I knew that lighter.
The next moment I was awarded with another excruciating scream of opera. I pulled the curtain away in one smooth move and stood face-to-face with one very bony and girly bum.
Five minutes later I was back downstairs unpacking my food, followed by shaded look of half dressed intoxicated Malek. I chocked up, unable to say a word. That was just cross! There were two things I didn’t tolerate – stranger sleeping in my bed and someone else using my shower corner. I tried to be open about it, but it became clear early in the university that I was inapt for living together with tosspots, who wouldn’t respect that. And now I found Malek there!
“Evelyn…” he stammered, “really, I only ‘hic!’ mixed ‘hic!’ the houses up.”
I broke the plastic bag around the flour. “You vomited in my shower!” He submitted it was nasty thing to do. “While I was there!”
“I already apologized for it!”
“Apology doesn’t clean it up there!”
“I’ll tell Rasmus, he –“
“No, no, no! No Rasmus! Your fault – you clean it up!”
He started chuckling.
Indeed, what was I thinking? Was I gonna let that swill sit there six months until some man here got sober and decided it was good time to come and clean it up? I was as crazy as he was!
I pulled phone from my pocket and dialed Saul’s number. I turned my back to Malek while listening his phone calling and massaged my nose root. The day hadn’t even reached lunch yet!
“Who are you calling?” demanded Malek suddenly and stood up.
“No-no, don’t do that!”
“Too late!” I snapped to Malek. “Hi, Saul, I need you to come over at my place!”
“I can’t right now! What do you want?”
“I don’t think it’s something we could discuss over the phone. I could hint though that it involves…” I heard peeping through the speaker and recognized it as pedestrian traffic light. “Where are you?”
“Depends what you want.”
“Malek’s at my place.”
I could have sworn something blew up or it was his phone banging against steering wheel. Either way it was loud enough to knock out my hearing. I changed the hand and listened on with my left ear, hoping dearly he doesn’t repeat his trick.
“Give phone to Malek!”
“I don’t think he wants to speak to you ri…” I turned right in time to see his face pale and scrunched my nose. “No, Malek! Bad dog!” I warned him in time to witness another stinking load landing on my kitchen floor. “Damn you, man!”
“I need to be executed by firing squad!” I desperately wanted him to leave.
“Just come and pick up your baby!”
“I’m not a…” protested Malek, but the finger I pointed at him shut him up.
“How far are you? Saul!” He didn’t answer. “Saul?” When I looked at the phone, it was mute. He hanged up on me! “Dam’ it! Dam’ it! Dam’ it!”
I’m not usually someone, who swears often, but this was testing my limits.
I turned my anger back to the sad faced rat, who sat there now, hands open, wet towel over his broad shoulders and rest of his clothes dripping from something I didn’t want to delve into.
“Did you have to do this now?” I brawled and told him to take off his clothes next.
“Do I clean it up now?” He sounded as if one minute missing from death.
I shook my head. “Just… gather your clothes and rinse them through, I’ll deal with the floor.”
Saul’s car crunched my pavement while I was drying up the last bit of my floor.
Malek had put all the clothes he didn’t need for hiding his private parts in the sink, poured some water on top of it, raised them up few times, circled them around twice and then pour some more water on top. His jeans didn’t even get wet and now he sat, quiet as a mouse, on the bench away from my reach.
I slapped the wet rag back in the now quite clean water bucket and pushed my aching body up.
Saul ran up the stairs and was standing on the doorway second later. He saw Malek first, then me ripping off green gloves. I hanged them to dry.
“What the hell did you do?!” he started from Malek.
“You missed the show!” I intervened.
“I was at port, I couldn’t get here faster.”
“Well! You’re here now, aren’t you? You can deal on with him yourself!” I announced. I went around the table and dug his wet clothed out of the sink.
Saul followed me and pinched through closed lips. “Evelyn, I…”
On the same time we heard familiar sounds Malek’s throat made and I pointed my finger on the red vessel next to him. “Bucket!” I turned back to Saul while Malek was emptying the last of his stomach in the stinky water. “What happened to him?” I muffled my voice.
“What do you mean?” he asked reluctantly and reached out for the other end of his jeans and twisted it to other way while keeping his eyes in mine.
“I haven’t lived here that long yet, but… Saul?” His eyes suddenly lost interest in my face.
“It’s not mine to tell.” He said shortly.
“Alright,” I agreed, I didn’t really want to know, “but this isn’t normal, right?”
He shook his head, eyes on Malek and whispered. “Normal? He is usually subtle about it – small bottle and far less trouble. Haven’t seen him sober in years.”
We watched how the undertaker took his towel off his back with two fingers delicately slip it over the bucket, patting the sides.
“Why did he come here?”
“Rasmus’ bike stands in front of the house.” He sighed. “I guess he didn’t dare to go home in his condition.”
I didn’t get it. He was grownup man!
“Rasmus promised to kick him out if he shows up like this again.”
“And so, he mixed up the houses.” I noted grimly, seeing all the potential times in the future, when I would be honored to come home to such sight again.
“Evelyn, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”
“Would you take few more students up for reading class?”
I was now offering classes?
Malek placed the bucket back on the floor and stretched. My nose wrinkled just by the thought I would have to touch that thing again. I tipped closer to Saul and confirmed. “I need a new bucket. I told you earlier – one student at a time.”
“I’ll get you one tomorrow. Look, it would really help children if they can…”
“Mkm,” I shook my head, “you don’t understand. I am not touching that thing. Malek goes – bucket goes.”
“If he’d been home, I wouldn’t have had to call you in, now did I?” I replied with venom.
He snorted, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.
“I’ll think about the lessons, ok? I can’t promise you anything as I do have to find work and you need more permanent solution than me…” I trailed off, feeling his hand brushing over the back of mine. “I want a blue one!” I announced loud so Malek also heard me and piled his shirt on top of the rest of his clothes.
“As you wish,” he submitted with smile and his moist lips pressed heated kiss on the cheek, sending fluttering sensation through my abdomen. Then he went and picked up the bucket. He ordered Malek to stand up and start walking. Malek launched like ordered. On the door, Saul suddenly stopped and he ran into him.
Malek frowned suddenly, and whispered half aloud. “Did you just kiss her?”
“Man, your clothes.” Saul growled for response.
“Yes-yes… Oy, Eff? My clothes!”
“Yes, puppy! Catch!” I sang and landed the ice cold bundle in his stomach while smiling like a spring butterfly. “See you!”
Saul responded with unrecognizable mumble while Malek said nothing. I waved them good-bye and banged the door shut. Over the hedge was out of option this time and thus I could enjoy the site of one dressed to kill was leading another topless and trouser-less creature behind him to home.