Adam let out a sigh as he cocked his head to the side, looking at the drawing in front of him. There was something wrong with it. No, there was something wrong with all the panels he was working on, not just the drawing in question. He sighed again, covering his eyes as he tried to think of what to do next.
Maybe I should just start all over again. He thought to himself as he removed his hand from his eyes, letting his blue eyes look over the panels one last time before he went back to work on them. He bit his cracked bottom lip in concentration as he selected the eraser tool in the drawing program before going to work.
It was twelve in the afternoon, a little too early for Adam to be awake, but he had a submission deadline he had to meet in order to keep track of the schedule for his serialized comic online. Adam had gone to art school, but after graduation, he didn’t really know what to do with his degree, so he just settled for being an indie illustrator and comic artist.
It didn’t matter much. It wasn’t as if he really cared about money. Okay, maybe there was a tiny bit of himself that wished he’d done something with his degree instead of spending thousands of dollars in college only for him to neglect it, but as long as he could eat and pay his rent, he was fine. Being an indie artist meant he didn’t have to leave his apartment too often. Not eating properly and staying indoors for too long contributed to his poor health, and sickly appearance, but that didn’t matter too much to Adam.
Adam lived in an apartment on the shabby side of town. There were two other floors above his, but the apartment directly above his was currently empty, and he didn’t see the neighbors that lived around too often.
As Adam worked on his comic he hummed a song to himself. He stopped moving his electronic pen over his drawing pad, pausing as he listened to the sound of someone moving up and down the stairs.
What’s going on? He wondered, pushing some of his long dark hair away from his ear so that he could listen in more properly. He wondered who it was. It couldn’t be the lady on the topmost floor. It was the weekend, and she had already headed out to work.
Is someone moving in? Adam asked himself, deciding that that was a more probable situation. He drummed against his work table with the base of his E-pen, as he tried to decide if he should look outside, maybe even greet the person before coming right back to his apartment to continue with his drawings.
Adam sighed, saying a short prayer in his mind as he hoped that whoever was moving in wasn’t noisy. One thing he loved about his little run-down apartment, even though it had a pest problem because of the grocery store downstairs, was that it was quiet.
After some more noise from above and the stairs, Adam decided to check things out. He got up from his seat, slipping his feet into house slippers before heading over to his front door. He opened it, looking outside before wandering towards the staircase, and sure enough, there was someone heading upstairs with a cardboard box in their hands.
A frown made its way to Adam’s face as the person walked up. The person looked young—college-aged, and not the type of person Adam would have expected to be moving in.
The young man in front of him was lanky and dark-skinned. He had soft features, with full brows, and beaded dreadlocks that stopped at his shoulders. Adam blinked when he realized the man had paused and was staring right back at him from his position at the stairs. He held the cardboard book close to his chest, chuckling a bit when Adam let out a small surprised gasp.
“Oh, you must be the person on this floor,” the man said, smiling a bit. “Hey, my name’s Assad. It’s nice to meet you.”
Adam didn’t say anything in response, causing the stairway to go quiet. Assad eventually let out an awkward laugh before sighing. He looked over at Adam who was staring at him with wide blue eyes.
“How are you?” he asked, finally causing the man in front of him to blink.
“I’m sorry,” Adam said with a sigh as he rubbed his eyes. “I’m Adam,” he answered, making Assad nod with a nod of his head.
“Okay.” Assad smiled. “I’ll be on my way then,” he said, and with those words, he walked the rest of the way up the stairs before walking past Adam and heading up to his own apartment. Adam watched him leave, still wondering what a college student was doing renting an apartment like this. Or maybe he isn’t in college at all? Adam wondered before shaking his head and returning to his own apartment.
When he got in he headed for the small kitchen/living room area before getting himself some bags of chips from the snack bin on the counter before heading back to his work desk. His desktop was an old model, but Adam had gotten it for a good price second hand, so he didn’t care much, even though it was a little slow at times.
He settled down on the spinning chair before he continued to work on his drawing panels. Usually, after a while, when he was close to finishing, he would take small breaks, resting his back on his chair and letting out groans of frustration. He was presently doing just that, but only now it was out of frustration for the noise coming from above, not the work in front of him.
He’s not done unpacking yet? Adam wondered with a frown on his face. He listened to the sound of furniture being pushed around. He hadn’t known the ceiling was so thin. He wondered if it would leak too—especially the bathroom ceiling, since Asaad’s bathroom was just right above his. The apartment building wasn’t the newest or best put together in the block.
After a while, the noise stopped, and Adam returned his focus to his work, and at the late hours of the night, he was finally done. He made the submission before getting up from his seat and heading to the bathroom to take a shower. When he got out he changed into nightclothes and crawled under the blankets on his bed to call it a day, but just ten minutes after he got into bed, he was forced to wake up by the sound of music coming from the top floor. It was loud, and a male voice was singing along to it—no, yelling.
“Just my luck,” Adam groaned, frowning and shutting his eyes before picking up his pillow and covering his ears with it.
And for a moment there he had thought he would be able to tolerate Assad—he was wrong.