Carmen awoke with a start, her eyes settling on the open door to the hallway almost as soon as she’d opened them. The light streaming in was hard to miss given the dim illumination throughout the rest of the apartment.
The punctuated word made Doug sit straight up, his face full of sleepy confusion, his arms coming up to protect himself.
“What? What is it?”
Doug’s eyes tracked to the doorway visible from the bed they lay upon. “Why is it open?”
The question was an obvious one and it made Carmen cringe. “If I knew, it’s highly doubtful I’d have screamed isn’t it?”
Used to the biting way his wife sometimes spoke, he swallowed his frustration as he got up off the bed. He walked to the open door and looked into the hallway, trying to determine if anyone stood in the inky blackness that lived in its corners. Closing the door, his hand hovered over the lock.
“You heard what Rupert said.”
“I know, but I don’t like the idea of people just coming and going as they choose.”
“Neither do I, but what can we do? If we break the rules, it’ll definitely be the end of us here.”
Doug’s hand still lingered on the bolt and Carmen wondered if he would hammer it home. She was relieved when his hand dropped to his side, defeated. He moved quickly across the room to the table set against the far wall. Grabbing a wooden chair, he placed it in front of the door before turning to her, a devious smile lighting his face.
“It’s not technically locked, but if someone opens the door, we’ll at least have a little notice this time.”
The presence of the chair made her feel a little better. There was still something that bothered her but she’d stash it at the back of her mind, letting her brain work as she went about the rest of her day.
Carmen patted the mattress beside her, thinking the two of them could still get some sleep before they needed to be up. Doug walked back to the side of the bed, sitting briefly before swinging his legs up and lying back against the pillow. Carmen cuddled into his side, throwing her arm over his chest and closed her eyes.
Their breathing slowed as the pair dropped back into the slumber, awakened only a few minutes later by the knock on the outside of the door.
All right reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow