Jerry goes back to Amanda's apartment for a second date. First 3/4 of the story written in August 2011, last 1/4 written on April 17th 2013. It is half the length of the 1st part because the planned second chapter it will be...
Alone in Amanda's apartment (Chapter 3 of the Bliss series)
Letters : 8776 Words : 1628
This chapter was actually written on April 17th 2013 and never published! Shame on me... In chapter 2, Amanda leaves our narrator alone in her apartment on their second date.
So, just like that, I was left alone in Amanda's apartment. I somehow felt like our second date was an absolute success, but it was cut short, way too short.
I had no appointments for the rest of the afternoon and had no idea when Amanda would be back, so I decided to stick around a little.
She had explained how her dishwasher was broken and that she rarely did the dishes on the same day, so I started by doing it for her.
A little help goes a long way in establishing yourself as boyfriend material. It's not like I minded anyway: I was doing dishes in a beautiful woman's apartment and if it took too long, it increased my chances of seeing her after her meeting without causing suspicions as to why I was still there.
Still, even if I washed what she had left in the sink from her breakfast, I was done much faster than I would have hoped, so, I decided to take a look at her dishwasher.
I did the initial check: the breaker was on, electricity was making it to the dishwasher fine and the machine seemed functional. I quickly discovered the problem: water wasn't making it to the dishwasher.
I dug under the sink and quickly discovered that the valve shutting down the water pipe to the dishwasher was simply closed. Somehow, at some point, someone had turned off for a reason or another the water to the dishwasher and had simply not turned it back on.
I quickly tested it and saw that the dishwasher was once again working properly but, I also realized that the valve was slowly leaking. It's normal for a valve to leak a little when turned, but this was no ordinary leak: the valve was defective.
Harry probably discovered the problem and temporarily closed the valve to give him time to do the repairs but died before he had the chance to do it, leaving Amanda wondering about what had happened.
I quickly found in her bedroom what I had been looking for since the first time I had set foot in her apartment: a book case.
I am an avid reader and used to strongly believe that if you have a first date with someone without books, they do not deserve a second date.
Amanda however, was special enough to me to ignore this rule until now, but the bookcase reassured me.
I took a look: the book case was very well organized. There was a whole shelf of police procedures and regulations. There was a shelf filled with novels and non-fiction books, the same types you can find in any book worm's apartment. I noted we had a few books in common and moved on to the bottom shelf, which was split between naturist books and personal pictures.
The naturist books were travel guides, magazines, picture books and I even saw a few novels. Suddenly, I had a thought: Harry was the dedicated naturist. Just because the book case was in her bedroom didn't mean it was Amanda's book case. It could very have been Harry's.
I looked at the bedside tables and discovered that both actually had a book with a bookmark. The one of the right of the bed was a naturist travel guide with a paper tissue in it. There was a pair of reading glasses on it which we in no way feminine. I assumed it was Harry's side of the bed.
The bedside table on the left had 3 books piled, each with an actual bookmark. The one at the bottom was a novel, from John Grisham, with a butterfly bookmark. The one in the middle was a guide to help widows move on, with a bookstore book marker. The one at the top was a Steven King novel, with a flowery book marker with a velvet rope.
I decided that I was already snooping enough, so I took out the personal photo albums to discover that they were a mix of boring family pictures and naturist vacation photos, with Harry and Amanda fully nude on multiple beaches.
Amanda was just as beautiful on a picture as in person but more importantly, she seemed very happy with Harry. I will really need to learn to accept that she was still in love with him.
Speaking of which, could I find any hints as to when he died? I placed the photo binders back on the shelf and made sure to replace them exactly how they used to be: she might be a detective, but I had the eye of a realtor and as such, I was an expert at sizing a room in just a moment.
I found all that I wanted in the closet: there was toolbox under some man clothes and next to it was a shoe box filled with newspaper clipping about the shooting.
I decided not to read any of them or even to take them out of the shoe box: I didn't want to know more details to be surprises when she would eventually tell me more about this tragic event. All I did was check the date and was relieved in a way to see that it was a little over 2 years ago.
In the toolbox however, I not only found all of the tools I needed, but also the parts I needed to repair the valve. Could have Harry been about to fix it when he died? In any way, Harry seemed like a great guy, now, he would be the greatest wingman!
So, I fixed the dishwasher valve in no time and tested it to make sure that was the only problem with it.
Sadly, only 30 minutes had elapsed since Amanda had left and I was pretty sure she would be gone for a few hours, so I snooped a little more around her apartment.
She had a few DVDs and I think I could quickly spot which ones were hers and which ones were Harry's, but being a police officer, it's quite possible I might be wrong: not all women only enjoy romantic comedies.
The apartment, apart from a single shelf in the bedroom bookcase was just like any other. I might have sold a few similar apartments in the last few years.
The only difference was on the alternating floors and I must admit that I was rather intrigued from a real estate agent point of view.
I found keys in a bowl near the door. I presumed that these were Harry's keys and that they now simply rested unused since his death.
I confirmed that they could lock and unlock the main door, the one on the textile level, and began exploring.
The corridor was linear, with apartments on either side and emergency staircases at both ends. Fortunately, they were not locked or alarmed do I decided to take a little stroll in the one on the left of Amanda's apartment.
Blocks with elevators are required to also have emergency staircases allowing for evacuations of the building without using the elevators.
Using such staircases would provide access to the odd numbered floors where nudity is mandatory from an even numbered floor where it is prohibited.
It's only once I was inside the staircase that I realized how they solved this problem: they built a double helix closed staircase.
When I went from Amanda's 6th floor down to the 5th floor, my staircase only used half of the available staircase area and I suspected that in the other half, on the other side of the wall, was an identical staircase in the opposite direction.
Each staircase segment had the full length of a floor instead of half of a floor. Normally, staircases are divided in two so that each floor level has the door in the same position.
In this configuration, the staircase lead you away from the corridor so that on every odd numbered floor, my stair landing was next to the exterior wall as if it was a half-level landing.
I appreciated the ingenuity of the architect and I believe that he somewhat adapted to the situation a design originally created by Leonardo Da Vinci.
On the ground floor, there was a door leading to the lobby, but also a door leading, I presume, to the basement. That door however, was locked from the inside preventing anyone from using the textile staircase to access the naturist basement.
I returned to Amanda's apartment and after testing Harry's keys the naturist door in her mezzanine of her apartment, I began exploring the naturist staircase, naked of course.
When I reached the ground floor, I was able to continue downstairs to the pool and the gym, but oddly enough, I was able to both access the locked door I had seen from the other side, but also, to see another such locked door. An electrical panel perhaps?
The interesting thing I found in the corridor between the staircases were emergency clothes for the residents. Should a fire erupt while someone was in the pool, he could get dressed in a hurry before leaving. This was a rather good idea.
I resisted the temptation to go check out the restaurant Amanda talked about to avoid spoiling any surprises and instead, returned to her apartment at once, where I dressed back up.