Today, we have the third excerpt from Apartment 24, the first story in the upcoming collection, Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon. For our new readers, we have already published two excerpts, so catch up with the first and second parts before continuing.
When I arrived at work at 7 p.m., Damon was at the front desk, listening to music through his earphones with his head down. When I tapped him on the shoulder, he took off the headphones, looking shamefaced. I cut him off as he greeted me. “Damon, man, you got to be kidding me!”
I put my lunch bag and Tamuno’s bag of food under the counter.
“Let this be the last time I catch you doing this when you should be paying attention to the door!”
“Is there a problem, young men?” Mr Theodore shouted as he walked out from the door of the basement stairwell behind us.
His office was in the basement next to the recreation room. I could hear the sound of his laboured breath long before his rotund belly caught up with us at the counter. Damon responded that there was no problem. Mr Theodore looked at me.
“There’s no problem, boss. Damon was just leaving for the night,” I said. Damon agreed quickly and picked up his messenger bag under the counter.
He looked at me and said, “Oh, Mr Tamuno came by. He had to go out. He said you should drop his food in his crib.”
I nodded. I was not surprised. Tamuno was gone most evenings. Damon waved and ran out through the glass doors. When he was gone, Mr Theodore leaned over the counter.
“That boy is going to get fired soon!” Flecks of his Trinidadian accent mixed with his American accent, a sign that he was getting angry.
“Take it easy with him, boss,” I said. “Why are you always taking up for that boy? He ain got no manners!”
He shook his head and told me he caught Damon sleeping at the front desk a few minutes after he resumed work that morning and this was not the first time. I reminded him that Damon was also a deejay at a nightclub to make ends meet. Mr Theodore waved his hand in disregard and started to walk away. I called him back. I had something to ask him. He looked down at me from under his bushy brows and asked how much I needed.
“It’s my mother. She’s sick.”
“I didn’t ask you why you needed the money but how much.”
When I told him, he nodded and said the check would be ready by the time I clocked out the next morning. I promised to pay him back on Friday when I got paid. This will be the last time I ask him for money. I had a good feeling about the job interview at Tamuno’s workplace.
To read the rest of Apartment 24 and all the other stories in Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon, pre-order a copy of the book at a 20% discount. Offer open only till July 5th, 2016.