Changing Spaces

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


A girl without family, a girl without a home. She has no identity, a ghost between the millions. Maisie moves from place to place, will this next move be her final one?

Submitted: November 26, 2017

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Submitted: November 26, 2017

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Being a nomad isn't easy. It takes hard work searching for a new place to live every other year, sometimes every year. 

 

From Ohio, to Washington, to Long Island, to California. You name it, I've been there. Well, that's probably an over exaggeration. I've been to maybe ten out of fifty states and now it's about that time again.

 

I'm in Wisconsin at the moment, I can say that I liked it the least here.

Too many forests. Too many farms, not enough cities. I needed to get back to a city, I needed to see the hustle and bustle again, I didn't want quiet. I wanted to hear the cars outside my apartment, I wanted to smell the hotdogs and those pretzels that smelled like donuts. 

The country life had actually started to make me depressed. 

 

It was only about seven weeks ago when I had realized that I wanted to move to Pennsylvania.

I didn't have much stuff. I didn't have many friends. I only had my job as a waitress at a breakfast restaurant. This benefited me, because I made money and half the time I didn't have to spend anything on food because I could always get the leftovers. Since I never stayed in one place for so long, I always made sure I got a job somewhere that wouldn't miss me if I were gone. 

 

I quit my job a week ago and booked my flight right after. When I mean I can just get up and go, I mean, I can just get up and go. 

 

I adjusted my single bag as I walked out of the Lehigh Valley International Airport, which was the airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I had left a state that would always be complete with snow in the winter to travel to a state that would be just the same. I didn't have to do my research to know that Pennsylvania was a snowy and cold city. 

 

I snuggled into my blue peacoat and exhaled deeply, the air evidently drifting out of my mouth and into the thirty two degree air. I had done this so many times, I already knew the drill. Before I even started packing I went apartment hunting. After a while, I realized that this was the smarter thing to do instead of just hauling myself from place to place, having to stay in a hotel for a while before I could even rent a place to live. 

 

Staying with a relative wasn't an option. I sighed and continued walking in my original brisk pace. Maybe even brisker at the thought of staying with a relative. Ireland was a long way away from the United States and Maine was far away from Pennsylvania. I wanted to keep it that way. My family, they didn't like each other. They hated each other. And they hated me too, because of who I was, who my parents were and how I wasn't supposed to happen. It was 2016, but that still didn't mean people were as accepting as they should be. 

 

I passed a reflective surface. I'm Irish. But I wasn't your average pale skinned, red haired, cute little freckled irish girl. My skin was darker than pale, my hair was darker, it was brown rather than a vibrant red color and in a low ponytail. I had my father's eyes, dark brown. The only thing that I had that my mother had as well were her freckles even though they were darker as well to compliment my skintone, rather than being the color of an orange. 

 

I turned away and continued walking down the block. When I turned the block, I would only have to walk a little bit more and then I would get to the building. The area was nice, it was what I had wanted. Tiny trees lined the block, the leaves were gone and some snow lined the branches. The streets were small, not too small but not too big either. Cars drove by, the smell of gasoline was in the air. I had even seen a pretzel stand while I was walking. 

 

I turned the block, already knowing what to expect since I had searched up the area beforehand. A bar that was called Carouse was about three apartment buildings away from my new "home".  I grinned a bit, people complained about how noisy the cars were at night and how if you could hear the conversations of people all the time it would get annoying. I didn't know, I think it's interesting, different. I wouldn't mind hearing people during the night, I might at well not now anyway, since there's no way I can go back to Wisconsin.

The bar was full of people, the black colored french doors were closed most likely due to how cold it was, but that didn't stop these people from coming out to drink and have a good time. It was probably pretty warm in there too. 

 

I kept walking down the block, I was almost there. 1106, 1107... and that was it 1108. The numbers were silver on the top of the building's entrance. The doors were wrought iron and from first glance, I had to admit that the building looked different from the others. From the description, I already knew that it was an building that had attendants at all hours, none of the other buildings did. It looked out of place here, but perhaps there was nowhere else for it to be built.

 

There was someone standing in front to the side of them. A man, wearing a black and gold doorman uniform. When I approached, he already had his eyes on me. Like he had been staring at me from down the block. His face was rough looking, his skin was pale, he looked unfriendly he was looking at me like I had intruded on his territory or like I wasn't supposed to be here. Then... he just smiled and put his hand on the door handle that was closest to him, opening the door. 

 

I stared at him, swallowing the spit that had been resting at the back of my throat for a while. I smiled back a little too, "Thanks..." I said, walking inside. 

 

"You are very welcome, Madame O'Sullivan," the man said, his british accent was evident. 

 

I glanced behind me when I heard the door close. The doorman wasn't looking at me anymore, instead he was just standing in his original position, his hands clenched together as he waited to open the door for someone else.

There was a front desk in the lobby, behind the desk was a staircase, behind the staircase was an elevator and also two mailrooms on either side. The lady at the desk snapped her head upwards as soon as I had entered the building. 

 

I witnessed her inhale deeply as if she were inwardly sighing, before looking me up and down, her expression was full of contempt. She had shoulder length light brown hair, half of which was in a high ponytail. 

 

"Are you in the right place?" She asked me, raising an eyebrow. I was about to respond when she suddenly shook her head. "You're... that girl... Maisie O'Sullivian?" She then asked, her confused expression gone and she seemed more pleasant now. 

 

I nodded, "I am she," I said, pressing my lips together my hands in my coat pockets. 

 

"Right, right, sorry," she said, "Floor 5." Then she put her head back down and started writing in whatever she had been writing in before I had walked in. I shook my head slightly, as I got on the elevator. The first two people in this building I had met, even though I didn't know if they lived here or not, they were definitely weird. I payed no mind to it. 

 

There were ten floors in the building, which made sense because the building wasn't tall. It was the same height as the other buildings. From what I knew this was the only building on the block with an elevator. The slight in the elevator started to blink. At first I didn't really notice, but I soon did. What made me realize this was because every time it would go out it would take it a longer time to come back on. I looked up at the slight, there were two of them that were shining brightly at the moment. Only one was blinking. The elevator still made its way up to the fifth floor, the rising noise was loud in the silent closed space. 

 

I took a deep breath. 'You're alright, Maisie, you're alright. It's just one little elevator', I told myself as I stared at the slight. It hadn't gone off in a while, so I hoped that there was just a temporary short somewhere and that it wouldn't blink out again. 

 

I looked at the floor it was on and saw that it was thankfully four. But it stayed on four for a while, either that or I was just becoming paranoid. I took another deep breath and unbuttoned my coat. I couldn't hear the loud sound anymore, everything was just silent. 

 

And then it started moving again. 

 

I nodded, 'You're alright' I tried to convince myself again. I had started to calm down a little when I saw that the elevator had finally reached the fifth floor. When it stopped both of the lights blinked out and the elevator door had not opened. 

 

I closed my eyes and leaned my head back onto the elevator wall. 'Please, please, don't be an elevator jam... please... please...' I said in my head, over and over again.

I was in darkness. 

 

I cleared my throat loudly, I needed to hear something, anything, even if it was my own voice. Until the elevator door opened. I tried to steady my breathing by taking deep breaths and I would clear my throat every now and again. 

 

It had been two minutes and then finally the darkness wasn't so dark anymore. My eyes were still closed, but I could tell that the light had come on. I waited, I didn't know how long, to me it was minutes but in reality it actually wasn't, I waited until the door opened and that's when I opened my eyes. 

 

I gasped and jumped, backing myself into the wall more and bumping my head. 

 

A woman was standing against the wall across from the elevator and she was smiling at me. She wore a business suit and held a clipboard. 

 

"Miss O'Sullivan," she said, nodding her head at me. 

 

I stared at her, rubbing my head and becoming less tense when I realized she was probably just the building manager. She was the one I spoke to earlier today to confirm that I would be able to see the apartment. 

 

"Ms. Aragon," I said, huffing her name slightly as if I were out of breath. I was out of breath. "Nice to... meet you..." I said, shaking her held out hand. 

 

"Pleasure," she said, gripping my hand hard. She had black hair which was in a tight bun, she had defined features, high cheekbones and slightly slanted very dark eyes. Ms. Aragon held a posture that was as tense as I was in that elevator. "Come, the apartment is this way," the woman said, seeming the least bit concerned that I could have had a heart attack in that elevator. The least bit concerned that I almost did have a heart attack in that elevator.

 

"Your elevator, it-" I had started to say as I followed her down the hall to the apartment. 

 

"Yes, yes, I understand," she interrupted, "my tenants have been complaining about how the light in the elevator is broken. It's already on my list of things to do as well as firing whoever didn't complete their job." She stopped in front of the door that said 10d, unlocking it with her key and opening it. 

 

I nodded at what she said but didn't say anything in response, trying to push the elevator incident behind me I looked around the... already furnished apartment.

 

"Do not mind the furniture," Ms. Aragon said. "Here, we make sure our tenants have the highest quality apartments. You're allowed to get new furniture if you would like, but having apartments already furnished is our speciality."

 

I looked around not quite knowing what to say. This was the nicest apartment I had ever lived in, the furniture was beautiful and whoever designed it did a very nice job I would say. "Well..." I said. 

 

Ms. Aragon chuckled, clearly amused at me, "Yes, people who first move in here have that same reaction. You are very lucky Miss O'Sullivan. This was the only apartment available at this time due to past events." 

 

I looked at her when she said that, "What happened to the old tenant?" I asked out of pure curiosity. Who would leave a place like this? It was small, but it was cozy and it wasn't a dump.

 

Ms. Aragon's expression changed to something unreadable and her dark gaze locked with mine, "They had to... depart," was all she said and then before I could ask more questions she changed the subject, "I assume you know the area well?"

 

"I did my research on it," I said, "I just moved here from Wisconsin."

 

"Ah," she said, "please, if you have any questions regarding the area contact me." I didn't say anything, I felt like it was a recurring thing with her to say something and not even wait to see if the other person had something else to say. "Shall we go on the tour?" 

 

I was right. I nodded as she gestured toward the kitchen that was right next to us. 

 

"The kitchen, self explanatory," she said, then walking into what I thought was the living room, "the living room," she said. There was a television on the wall, a white rug on the floor with a coffee table in between the beige sofa and the gas lit fireplace underneath the television. The floor was a honey colored hardwood, just recently polished. The walls throughout the house were as white as the snowflakes outside.

 

Ms. Aragon turned around. There were two brown doors on the wall next to us, she opened the left one to reveal the bedroom. It had a queen sized bed inside of it, a dresser, a bookcase, and lamps. The wall that the bed was on was made out of brick and the rest of the walls were the same color as the outside interior. She hadn't stepped inside of the room instead she waited outside. 

 

I stepped inside of the room, walked around a bit. It smelled like fresh sheets and wood. I ran my hand across the brick wall and behind me I heard her clear her throat rather loudly. I turned around, figuring I should probably see the last room. Then when I was alone I could explore and admire all I wanted. 

I stepped out of the room, when I stood next to her she opened the bathroom door. The walls were white, of course and tile was white marble. The interior objects were a light blue and the curtain to the bathtub was a dark blue and decorated with tiny fish of different colors. 

 

"Well?" she asked. 

 

I looked at her and took in some air, "I'll take it," I said.

 

The corners of her mouth upturned, "Splendid..." she said, writing something down on her clipboard and then she pressed it against her chest when she was done. "It is now yours, I wrote it down on paper so it is official," Ms. Aragon closed the bathroom door and started to walk toward the front door, I followed her so I could lock her out. 

 

I smiled a little at the fact that I had a nice, new apartment. I was a nomad. We move from place to place. But maybe, just maybe, I would stay in Pennsylvania for more than a year. 

 

She opened the front door and stepped out, her hand on the knob about to close the door. Then she turned to look at me, her lips formed in some type of smile or smirk, "Welcome to Amity House..." she said.

 

She closed the door. The clacking of her heels growing more and more distant by the second and soon nothing could be heard at all.

 

It was just me and Amity House.


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