And Things Get Awkward
While Stacey and Sam were usually pretty good about keeping their apartment clean, recently they'd grown a little lax. Stacey had marked today as her cleaning day and had even gotten up earlier than normal to make sure that she could start laundry before anyone else claimed the three washing machines in the basement because she and Sam were both nearly out of clean clothes. She was also the one who took care of all the laundry responsibilities for both of them because she didn't mind adding his things with hers, but mostly because the first time that Sam did her laundry he had shrunk one of her sweaters to toddler-size. Stacey decided never to risk it again, especially with such a large variety of clothing that had special washing and drying instructions.
On this particular Saturday, she had been lucky enough to put a second round of loads into the three washing machines after the first round was done; usually there would have been someone waiting by then to take them over. All of her and Sam's things would soon be done and she thought that if that was the only thing she accomplished that day, she would feel productive. Luckily, the cleaning frenzy had barely begun. In their apartment, Stacey hooked her iPod up to the expensive Bose radio that her father had given her as one of her Christmas presents a couple years before, and put on her "Cleaning" playlist that consisted almost solely of Oldies because that's what she and her mom had always cleaned to in the past.
She had just finished making the kitchen immaculate when she heard a faint knock over the sound of her radio and her own voice singing along with Dusty Springfield's, "I Only Wanna Be With You." She guessed that Sam must have forgotten his key when he went out since she wasn't expecting anyone, so she swung the front door wide open without looking through the peephole. Then she wished that she had because she was acutely aware that her ragged denim shorts were too short and that she wasn't wearing a bra beneath an old t-shirt of Sam's that almost fully covered up her shorts because of its length. If it had been Sam at the door she wouldn't have cared, but it was her ex-boyfriend instead.
"Hey," she said, giving Ethan a curious glance. "Uh, what brings you by?" She crossed her arms over her chest, hoping that he wouldn't notice the lack of a bra. Even if she had known it was him at the door, Stacey wouldn't have been able to do much about her predicament because all of her bras were currently air drying on the drying rack that she'd set up next to the open balcony/ fire escape window.
"Stace, I know that this is a huge inconvenience, but do you mind if I use your shower real quick? My water somehow got shut off and the Super can't look at it for another couple of hours--and I have to be at work in thirty minutes. Please? I'll really owe you one." Now the reason why Ethan had a bath towel over one shoulder made sense--as did the two bottles of shampoo and body wash in his hand that Stacey hadn't noticed before.
Stacey wasn't sure how much Sam would like it, but she couldn't think of a good reason why Ethan shouldn't use their bathroom. "Of course you can! The bathroom is, uh, just through there," she said, pointing and letting him walk inside the apartment.
"Thank you so much, Stacey," he said, already making his way towards the door. "I really appreciate it."
"Let me know if you need anything," she called after him as he shut himself inside the bathroom. She wondered if she should grab a bikini top to use as a bra until he left, but figured that it was unnecessary--he would be gone soon.
And how is Sam going to like that when I tell him that Ethan was essentially naked in our apartment? Ugh. There was never any question in Stacey's mind about letting Sam know, but that didn't mean that she was looking forward to it.
As if God knew the exact moment to screw her over, Sam let himself into their apartment just then. Above the sound of a Beatles song coming from the radio was the unmistakable sound of the shower running. "Hey sweetheart," she smiled at him a little awkwardly. "Um, so Ethan needed to use our shower....His water's off or something."