Jessica wasn't sure she could do this. Standing just inside the walls of her new apartment, she felt that familiar churning bubbling of anxiety in the stomach. The apartment itself was nothing fancy. Four walls, some windows, some odd pieces of furniture collected from thrift shops in the week she'd been here were all that occupied the two room apartment.
Jessica didn't have a choice. She couldn't go back. She refused to turn tail and go crawling back to that place. She would rather die. Brushing loose strands of auburn hair from her face, she plucked her purse from off the side table. She had a job interview at two.
The door slammed shut behind her. Not honestly paying attention to where she was going, she bumped into someone on her way to the elevator. She glanced up, an apology playing on her lips. Hazel eyes briefly glimpsed at her, his lips set in a firm line of what was either disapproval or annoyance. She couldn't tell which.
He didn't offer a verbal response. He simply nodded and continued on his way. Good. Jessica wasn't in the mood for conversation anyway. When Jessica reached on the elevator, she began to dig in her purse for her phone. She needed to check the time.
She grasped the bottom of my empty purse, her mistake dawning on her. She uttered a simply curse before turning back. The man from earlier, the one she had bumped into, disappeared into his own apartment, two doors down from her own. Jessica made a mental note to introduce herself later on, when she had the time.
Jessica gripped the knob of her apartment. It didn't budge. The color drained from her face. Oh...god. This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening. She pushed more forcefully, thinking maybe it was just stuck. It wasn't. The door was locked.
"Shit!" She uttered in frustration. She dug around her purse, praying that she'd remembered to grab her keys. No such luck. Her anxiety now clawing at the center of her chest, Jessica did the only thing she could think to do. She kicked wildly, her foot connecting painfully with the wood.
"Ah, fuck!" She hollered, a bit too loud.
When she turned, she found herself staring into those now slightly bewildered eyes from before. He ran his tongue against his lower lips, fingers moving through his disheveled mop of brown hair.
"What?" Jessica snapped.
His eyebrows pulled together, confused at her hostility, "Nothing….sorry." He began to return to his own apartment.
Jessica sighed, "No, I'm-I'm sorry." She breathed, doing her best to push aside the bubbling anxiety, "I-I shouldn't have snapped at you like that." She pressed her forehead against the unbudging door, "I'm having a rough morning."
"I can see that." He spoke, his tone more amused now than before. "Do you need some help?"
"Well, unless you're some kind of magician that can unlock a fucking door, than I'm not sure there's much you can do."
She turned to face him. He wore...odd, somewhat nerdy clothes. A satchel hung around his chest, he took a step forward, "I can call you a locksmith."
"That would be great, thanks."
He pulled a somewhat outdated cell phone from his back pocket. His fingers paused, eyes flickering up to her face, "I-I don't actually know a locksmith."
Jessica waved off the apology. "It's-it's fine." She glanced down at her watch, "Shit."
"I had a job interview at 2."
He glanced down at his own watch, "It's 2:05. I'm sure they'd understand…"
"Yeah, well, maybe if I had my goddamn phone-!" She turned, practically screeching that insult at her door, "-but, hey, it was a crap job."
"You-you swear a lot."
"Yep." Jessica popped her lips.
"Oh, hey!" He suddenly cried out. Jessica flinched. "I have a phonebook in my apartment. I'm sure there's a locksmith number in there somewhere."
Jessica furrowed her eyebrows. In the age of technology, who on earth still used a smartphone? Has he never heard of google? Jessica merely shrugged. Who was she to turn down a good Samaritan's offer of help? She followed the mysterious man to his door.
He popped inside his apartment for a brief second before reappearing, phone book in hand. "Here we are." She watched him flip through the book for a moment before finding what they were looking for. He handed her his phone, locksmith phone already dialed.
He was odd, that much was certain. After a few minutes of speaking to the man on the other end of the line, Jessica found her hopes of a new start dwindling. She hung up.
"Well, good news and bad news. Good news, this guy can help me."
"And what's the bad news?"
"He can't be here for three fucking hours."
The stranger winced. "Ouch."
"Yeah, tell me about it." Jessica handed the book and phone back to their rightful owner, "Now what the hell am I going to do for three hours?" She wasn't talking to him persay, mostly to herself.
"There's a coffee shop about a block from here." He offered.
Jessica's nose wrinkled. The last time she'd been to a coffee shop, it hadn't ended well. That was the last time she'd seen him….the man she had come to Virginia to forget.
"Or...not." He spoke, eyes dropping.
It dawned on her that he'd been asking her to go WITH him to this said coffee shop. Her cheeks heated. She wasn't the best at picking up on when guys were asking her out. She rarely dated these days.
"You...you were asking me to-" Jessica felt like smacking herself in the face.
"It's okay if you don't want to," He stumbled over the words, "I mean, I'm sure you have better things to do."
Jessica found herself smiling at the way he fidgeted with his nails. It was ...cute. "I actually don't have anything better to do." She extended her hand. "I'm Jessica."
He returned the greeting, "Spencer."
"Well, Spence. How about that coffee?"