A Forced Goodbye
This is a work of fiction made for entertainment and not to be idolized...
Katerina slipped in the back entrance of her apartment building. When she spotted the front office lights on, she knew that he was there despite the late hour.
She never thought there would be a day where she would have to sneak into her own home. That’s what happened when someone’s late on the rent and had to dodge the manger.
She took the stairwell instead of the elevator and endured five flights to miss out on the harassment. She was sure in for it if the man caught a glimpse of her on the elevator camera.
She already had her keys out and slid them into the lock to open the door when a voice startled her.
“Sneaky in again?”
She grabbed her chest as she smiled at her neighbor. “You almost gave me a heart attack, Mr. Peter.” She threw her bags on the floor in front of her door and moved over to the old man who sat off to the side of his front door tucked in the corner out of view. It was close to three in the morning, so she wasn’t expecting to see him sitting there.
“One day you’re going to give me a heart attack just because of who you are.” They shared a laugh as she kissed his cheek.
“How was your day? Do you need anything?” She and Gregg had lived there for two years, and the first person she met was Mr. Peter. She had been caring up boxes and Gregg was following behind her with his own set of boxes. They dropped them to the floor outside of their apartment door and Mr. Peter was sitting outside his door. He had told her how pretty she was and that Gregg better watch out before he stole her away from him.
From that point on she had visited him every day whether it be two minutes sitting outside his door before she went to work in the morning or two hours with him at his living room table doing a puzzle and listening to his stories. He had marvellous stories.
“What did you say, Kat?” His hearing wasn’t what it used to be.
“I asked if you needed anything.” She said a little louder.
“Oh! A kiss on the lips while you sit on my lap would just make this old man’s day.” He patted his lap.
“Mr. Peter!” She doubled over in laugher, and it was the best part of her day. When they both could catch their breath from laughter, the air changed, and she sat down beside him on the floor, laying her head against his leg.
“I wanted to make you laugh.” He smiled down at her. “I wish I could take care of you like you deserve. Life hasn’t been fair to you, little Kat.”
“Mr. Peter-” She was getting choked up. She looked up at him with kind eyes.
“Richard came up her looking for you today. You’re late on your rent again.”
She lowered her head. This was her third time being late on her rent and the building manger, Richard Alwe was on her ass. He said last time that if she was late that he was going to throw her ass out on the street. She knew when the next time they crossed paths, she better have the money. Well, she didn’t which would explain why she was sneaking in.
“They cut my hours.” She had been working at a small bakery in the mornings, but when her ex-boyfriend Gregg broke up with her and left her with a shit ton of bills to pay on her own, she had to pick up a second job at a bar. Neither of the jobs was booming in business like they had been when she first started, but it was better than nothing.
“I wish there was something I could do to help.” He sympathized. “He changed the locks, Kat.”
“He told me to tell you to pay him a visit when you got home.” His voice was low.
She moved to her door, inserting the key. Sure enough, the key didn’t budge as she tried to turn the key. “Damn it!” She threw her back against the door as she fought off tears. Tears solve nothing. She closed her eyes tight, trying to fight off her mother’s voice in her head.
The clicking of the old man slowly moving to her way with his cane had her eyes slowly lifting. She gave him a lazy smile as she rested her head against the door. She felt him grab her hand and tears slipped from her eyes.
“I’m okay, Mr. Peter.” She quickly brushed her tears away. “I should get downstairs and try to finesse this one more time.”
“My door is always open.”
“I know.” She bent and picked up her bags and went to the elevator, pushing the button, waiting for it to rise to her floor. “I’ll be back in a few. You know-”
“-cats always come back.” He finished her sentence. She winked at him as the elevator opened and closed. Once doors opened to the ground floor, she spotted a smirking Rich behind the desk.
Rich stood about 5′11 and had the body of a twelve-year-old boy. Scrawny. He wore clothes two times bigger than necessary and his dark brown hair was awkwardly cut with bangs almost hanging over his eyes, but he stayed sweating so they stayed glued to his pale forehead. The apartments were nice, so he had to be a relative to the owner to be in charge.
“Katerina. What can I do for you tonight?” What could he do for her tonight? He was waiting on her. Why else would he be there this time of night, well morning? She felt the urge to roll her eyes.
“You changed the locks to my apartment?”
“Yeah, I did.” He folded his arms across his chest.
“I need the key to my apartment, Rich.” She huffed.
“It’s August 15th. You’re so late on your rent that I don’t even want it anymore.” He walked to his office when she grabbed his arm.
“You know I’m good for it. I just need a little more time.” When his eyes met hers, she realized the mistake she made in touching him.
“Yeah, you good for it.” He smirked. “Come into my office.”
Her brain was screaming out at her, and she stood there watching him walk into his office. “Are you coming?” When she didn’t move, he took a few steps back towards her. “Maybe we can work something out. Come on.” He held the door open for her as she eased in.
“How long do you think it’ll take to get your rent money?”
She would work at the bar this weekend and if she wore her good bra, then she would have it buy Monday, so that’s what day she replied.
“Then rent will be due in two weeks after that. Will you have that money on time?”
Probably not, but she wouldn’t tell him that. “I-”
“Don’t bother lying to me.” He took a couple of steps forward, causing her to step back until she felt his desk at her bottom. She didn’t like how he was in her space, advancing on her like a predator. She put out her hands to push him away, but he grabbed them, holding them to his chest where he flexed under her hands. Disgusting. “Let me go, Rich.”
“So here’s what I’m thinking.” As he talked, he was lowering her hand down his stomach. “You can either fuck me real good tonight and I’ll give you a break this time.” His breath was rancid, and she tried to fight off the bile that rose in her throat.
“Or?” She struggled to snatch her hand back as it brushed against his belt.
“Or you can get the fuck out!” He shoved her away. She caught herself against the desk and rushed off when he moved away from her.
“I’ll rather sleep on the streets than fuck you.”
“You slut!” He snatched her to his body as she fell against him, dropping her bags to the floor.
“Get off of me, Rich!” She dug her nails into his forearms, but that only made him madder.
“Shut the fuck up.” He grabbed her by the neck, squeezing hard to cut her breathing off. For a little man, he had some strength. “Now you don’t have an option if you want to fuck me or not.” He was holding her with one hand and unfastened his belt and pants with the other. She hit at his arms, trying to loosen his grip, but he only squeezed tighter, making those white spots float around her. She felt herself sway when suddenly she dropped to the floor.
“What the fuck are you doing?” A voice roared. She couldn’t move to make out who was there. She was too busy coughing and forcing oxygen into her lungs.
“You have found a lot of time to bullshit around, Richard, when you owe me money!”
Now that voice made her quiver. She rolled on her back and turned her head to see three large men. Two were circling Rich like he was prey, and one stood in the doorway with his arms folded over his wide chest. She assumed the man in the door was the leader and the other two were his do-boys. The leader had black hair cut low, giving it a wavy appearance. His skin was lightly tanned and his nose was slightly pointed and his jaw was sharp. His body was medium built to fit him perfectly.
Her eyes moved back to the two men who circled Rich. One was tall and heavyset. He wasn’t much to study with his dirty blond hair cut close to his head, and his fat jaws made it hard to catch sight of his blue eyes. However, the other stood the tallest and biggest of them all. He was all man and all muscle. The giant’s head was bald and tattoos covered every inch of his body that she could spot. His lips were so pink and eyes so dark, almost black. His whole vibe was ‘don’t fuck with me.’ Well, she didn’t want any problems with any of them, but how would she get away?
“What are you talking about?” Rich pleaded. A punched answered him from the gigantic man and she almost winced as one of his teeth flow her way.
“You think I’m stupid, Rich. Did you think I wouldn’t find out you’ve been stealing from me?” The man’s voice at the door was dangerously calm, like before a horrible storm.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, G. I’ve been doing everything you told me to, it’s bitches like that who are late on their rent that seems like you’re losing money.”
She shook in fear as he pointed her out, so she pushed herself to sit up, but the mean looking one gave her a firm expression to stay still. She was putting two and two together and getting four. The guy by the door owned these apartments..
“You think I’m just missing a messily $1400? Get his ass out of here. I have something special for him.”
“You can’t do this, Garrett!” The two men dragged Rich out of the office kicking and screaming like the little bitch he was and she pushed herself up letting her back hit the desk. She closed her eyes, hoping he would just go away, but there was no such luck for me.
“What’s your name?” She could tell by his voice that he was in front of her and she couldn’t answer. Tears were burning her throat. The grip to her arm had her eyes snapping open as he pulled her up to him. He was so tall that her feet were dangling off the floor. “What is your name and don’t make me repeat myself.”
“Kat.” She cried out.
“Mm.” He tilted his head to the side, observing her. “You’re more of a small, little kitty kat.” He placed her on her feet as his eyes roamed her body. She tugged at the skirt of her work uniform, suddenly feeling exposed, and that caused him to growl. “You’re coming with me, kitten.”
“No.” She shook her head.
He grabbed her chin forcefully so she could stare into his cold grey eyes. “You think you have a fucking choice? You owe me got damn money, too.” He pushed her away, and she stumbled over her own feet and fell to the floor.
“Kat!” Her eyes snapped to Mr. Peter. She watched him try his best to get to her with his cane clicking against the floor, but the man Rich called Garrett cut him off.
“Whoa there, old timer.” He put a hand to Mr. Peter’s chest. “She’s fine. Go back home and watch some Wheel of fortune.”
“Go, Mr. Peter.” Kat begged as she struggled to stand up. Her knee was bleeding and throbbing, but she ignored it as her eyes pleaded with him to leave.
“Come home with me, Kat.” He held out his hand for her and her tears blurred her vision.
“Sorry, pop but she’s coming with me.”
“No, she’s not.” Mr. Peter held up his cane to hit him, but the man caught it with ease. He laughed and twisted the cane which caused Mr. Peter’s arm to turn and he fell to the ground.
“You should have listened to me, old man.” Garrett held up the cane to strike him, but Kat found her voice pushing herself to her feet.
“I’ll go.” She raced to catch the cane before it connected to the old man’s body. “Let’s go. I’ll go.” She grabbed his arms and looked in his eyes. She would do anything to protect the only man who ever really loved her.
“I thought you would view things my way.” He dropped the cane and threw her over his shoulder. “If you know what’s good for you, old man, you would go to your home and forget this night ever happened. You don’t want to lay eyes on me again.” He said as he marched out the office holding her firmly in his grasp.
“Do as he says.” She called out to Mr. Peter as they moved farther apart. “Don’t worry about me.” She tried to smile at him, but the one tear that slid down his wrinkled cheek had her heartbreaking.
“Cats always come back.” She cried as he disappeared from her view.