The elevator doors were just closing when Stacey heard someone shout for her to keep them open. Barely in time, she stuck her hand in the way and the doors opened to show a dark-haired guy carrying two heavy brown boxes and making his way towards her. She looked at him curiously, sure that he couldn't possibly be....
But then he looked away from the boxes and over at her just in time for both sets of eyes to grow wide. "Ethan!" she exclaimed right as he said her name in the same surprised tone. "Wha-what are you doing here?"
He gestured to the boxes stacked in his arms, but his eyes continued to rake over her. "I'm, uh, moving in," he replied. "Seventh floor. Do...you live here, too?"
Stacey nodded. "Eighth floor," she replied, wishing that more floors separated them. Not that it really mattered because she had gotten over Ethan many years before and she was completely in love with Sam, but she knew that Sam wouldn't like having Ethan as a new neighbor. "With my boyfriend. You remember Sam Thomas, Kristy's older brother?"
Ethan remembered all right. He'd often suspected that Stacey still had a thing for her ex-boyfriend when they had dated back in high school and it appeared that he'd been correct. It was water under the bridge, though, and he had no hard feelings now. "Yeah, I do. He seemed like a good guy," he added charitably. In reality, he didn't have much to go on.
"He's the best," she smiled happily, momentarily forgetting that she'd been just the teeniest, tiniest bit disappointed with him ever since he hadn't proposed to her when she had thought that he might. "So are you seeing anyone?" She felt a little awkward asking, but figured that it might be impolite not to give him the chance to brag on whoever he was dating.
"Oh, ah...not anymore. My girlfriend and I split and that's why I'm moving in here. I have a friend helping me with my stuff and then he's going to move in here in a few weeks."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear about you and your girlfriend," Stacey said sympathetically as the elevator reached the seventh floor and stopped.
"It's fine," Ethan said, shaking his head like it wasn't a big deal. The doors opened and he started stepping out. "Well, here's me. I'm in 707...right by the stairwell."
Stacey gave him a bright smile. "That'll be easy to remember. Sam and I are in 808. It was good to see you again, Ethan."
"Same," he smiled back. "Anytime you want to catch up or anything, just come on by--after I'm done unpacking. And bring Sam," he added.
"Maybe," she agreed with a smaller smile, knowing that she had no intention of hanging out with Ethan, with or without Sam. She had very little interest in catching up with him and knew that Sam was unlikely to be in favor of spending time with the only other guy that she had ever slept with. "Bye!" she managed to get it out just before the doors shut all the way.
Great...now I'll just go up and tell Sam. She kind of dreaded the conversation, but she knew better than to hide it when he could run into Ethan just as easily as she had. Maybe he'll surprise me and be cool about it....Probably not, though.