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Chapter 5 Moving To New Home

  • Today, I pulled out my cellphone and dialed his number again. The only different thing was my location – I found myself seated in my car, utterly worn out after driving for more than 10 hours on the road. I couldn't help but admit, my current exhaustion made me long for the luxury of traveling by airplane.
  • Damn! He didn't pick up my call. Maybe he was at work or out with his friends. Despite informing him in advance about my arrival, my brother, being my brother, seemed to have forgotten it.
  • "Ugh! Nothing can change him, not even the bigger number of his age," I muttered as I unfastened my seat belt and stepped out of my car. Waiting for him was inevitable, but I couldn't or didn't want to remain seated in that car for even a single second.
  • I stretched my arms, legs, and almost every part of my body to alleviate the tiredness a little bit. My eyes trailed over the tall, grey-mirrored housing building, casting shadows over my fatigued form.
  • Instead of purchasing his own separate house, Carl opted for a swanky apartment in this housing building, where they provided various services, including meals at their doorstep and full housing amenities like cleaning and laundry. This arrangement worked well for me too, especially considering I had minimal culinary skills, limited to making tea.
  • After confirming my identity at the main gates, I entered the vibrant main lounge. The mirrored wall, modern furniture, and magnificent ceilings created an exuberant atmosphere. An 'n'-shaped partition separated the minibar from the lounge, where some couples engaged in lively conversations while enjoying their drinks.
  • I slumped my dizzy body onto one of the velvet sofas in the lounge's waiting area and sent a message to Carl, letting him know that I was waiting for him there. After sending the message, I slid my phone back into the pocket of my jeans and, as my head rested on the sofa's arm, I quickly drifted into sleep.
  • The tick-tock of a wooden arm-stick against the marble floor of the lounge disrupted my sleep and brought me back to consciousness. My eyes were halfway open, recognizing a contorted figure looming over me. His expressions were narrowed, and his lips twitched, questioning my manners.
  • "Ehm, ehm..." he coughed, and I pulled my body up, shifting my weight onto my seated position on the sofa.
  • "Newly moved in, or here to visit someone special?" he inquired, preserving his same old man attitude.
  • "Yeah, I moved in with my brother. He lives on the 8th floor. I informed him, but he forgot, as usual," I explained to him, more in a complaining tone than providing information.
  • "I see. Did you ask for the duplicate?"
  • "Duplicate?"
  • "Yes, we keep duplicate keys, in case someone loses theirs, which is quite common. Some drunkard brats lose a pair or two every week," he said, rolling his eyes and disapproving of the careless behavior of men, forgetting there was a time when he was of their age as well.
  • "Go to that girl, and have her talk to your brother; she will provide you with the duplicate," he said, pointing towards the girl dressed in a black dress coat with pointed shoulders, revealing the collars of her red silk shirt. Her lips were smeared with red lipstick, and she was engaged in a conversation on the phone, tilting her head aside and tugging the receiver between her shoulders and head.
  • "Okay! Thanks."
  • "You are welcome."
  • I picked up my bag and walked towards the girl. She held onto the phone as she saw me approaching.
  • "Hello, ma'am! How may I help you?" she said in a very exquisite manner.
  • I explained the whole matter and slid out my cellphone, dialing Carl's number hurriedly, and passed it on to her.
  • "Okay! Don't worry, sir. I'll give her the keys. Thanks."
  • "Here, ma'am, he wanted to talk to you."
  • She handed me back my cellphone as I grabbed it and put it to my ear.
  • "What great timing! I was about to call you too. The duplicate thing just hit my mind moments ago. Anyway, you just go up and chill. I'll be back soon," he said, and I'm a hundred and ten percent sure he wasn't even thinking of calling me to ask me to grab the duplicate keys from the counter.
  • "Okay!" I huffed as I hung up the call.
  • "Here are your keys, ma'am!"
  • I grabbed the keys from the brown marble counter, turned around, and headed for the lift. I pressed the button with the number eight on it, and the yellow light bulb lit up. The small cafeteria next to the lift was buzzing with activity. It was a cozy place with brown chairs, round tables, and funky decorations on the walls. Shelves filled with books adorned one side of the room.
  • The elevator doors opened with a ping, revealing my tired reflection in the glass walls. I sighed and stepped inside, watching the doors close. When they opened again, I walked out, clutching my bag, and headed towards the corridor's dead end. The semi-darkness was illuminated by the yellow light from the ceiling bulbs.
  • With each step, my heart raced, and a sense of fear enveloped me. I felt my heartbeat echoing in my ears, and a wave of uncertainty washed over me. It was as if the ground beneath me had turned into a slippery slope, causing me to lose my balance on the polished marble floor. The world seemed to shake beneath my feet, and I stumbled forward, as if propelled by an unseen force.
  • Suddenly, it stopped. It was as if the ground had been pulled out from beneath me, and I found myself covering the distance without taking a step. Sweat beads formed on my face, reflecting in the yellow light. I wiped my forehead, attempting to regain composure.
  • Summoning the courage to speak, I cleared my throat. "Ehm..."
  • Silence.
  • Frustrated, I threw my bag aside and tapped the keys on the door, realizing that unlocking it in the current circumstances might not be possible.