Joe, The Doorman

Sage and Mia were cleaning my apartment, not that it was a disaster when I walked out in shorts and a t-shirt carrying the box I’d found in Colorado. I was hesitant to give it back to Alex. I didn’t want him to think I didn’t want it, or him. I needed to explain. I don’t know why I took it, or why I was giving it back. Maybe it was just an excuse to see him.

I grabbed a disposable plate and a slice of chocolate cake and wrapped it up then headed down the stairs to Alex’s apartment. I walked. I was dressed for a run but I walked. I didn’t want to mess up the cake – at least that was my excuse.

Alex’s building came into view and I stalled outside a coffee shop. Why was I nervous? But I was, my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding in my chest. I thought about turning around several times before I went inside the coffee shop and ordered two coffees. I sat down with my little bundles and sipped at one. The other sat staring at me while I waited to calm down. I should just go home. Alex would call me if he wanted to see me.

But he got mad the last time I didn’t call. Fuck! Why was he so confusing?

I sucked it up finished my coffee and took my stuff across the street to Alex’s building. The man at the front door asked me, “Who are you coming to see?”

I gave him a friendly smile. “Joe, right?” He wasn’t wearing a name tag, but I vaguely remember something like that. “I’m here to see Alex Kennedy.”

The man nodded but frowned at my request. “He’s not here. I haven’t seen him all day. Is there anything I can help you with?”

I sighed. “Any idea when he might be back?”

The man looked at me with a curious gaze, but he hid what he was thinking, “I don’t know. He keeps odd hours, sometimes I don’t see him for weeks.”

Well fuck. I sighed. I knew he wasn’t telling me the whole truth but I couldn’t prove it much less say anything. “Alright. Do you have a parcel delivery or holding location?”

“Of course.”

“Is it safe? I want to leave something that’s irreplaceable. If not I’ll stop by again some other time.”

“It is secure, only accessible by staff, and we have a safe if you’d prefer.”

“Could you put it in his apartment?” I asked hopeful.

“I could have that done for you.” He smile.

“Great. Do I need to fill out anything?”

“No, step inside I’ll take care of it right away.” I followed Joe inside.

“Thanks.” I said as Joe stepped around the front desk and set Alex’s box on top. “If he’s not here then he can’t drink the coffee or eat the birthday cake, so you might as well have it.” I said pushing the treat towards the door man.

“I couldn’t.”

I laughed. “The cake will probably go to waste at my apartment and I don’t drink cream with two sugars.” I visibly shuddered at the thought.

“Is it hot?”

I nodded, “I just came from across the street.”

“If you are sure.” He said.

“I am.”

A man came from inside the back room. “Take this box up to Mr. Kennedy’s apartment.” he handed the man a key card and he was off towards the elevator.

“Thanks Joe.” I said.

He waved and made a note in a book as I turned to leave. I wasn’t feeling any better, but I stopped outside the door and leaned against the rough rock wall and sent Alex a text.

N: Your doorman is awesome. I had him deliver your box to your apartment. I intended to give them to you five years ago, but you never showed up. I didn’t mean to keep them. I just wanted proof of who I was. I have so many questions about the box. Maybe you’ll let me ask those questions sometime.

I didn’t think he’d ever let me ask those questions. He didn’t like talking about himself. Didn’t want to open up. Which is fine with me, except he bitched about me not caring. Alex was so fucking confusing.

I stared at my phone for another ten minutes hoping for a response but got nothing. I pushed away from the wall then ran. I ran for two hours…

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