Magnolia sat in her car watching Kevin, her apartment buildings handyman change the lock on her the vacant apartment next to hers. As he rummaged around looking for the right size door knob, she noticed that his left arm sported a new Bugs Bunny tattoo. She looked at the way the imaged moved with his toned, tanned arms as he pulled out his drill.
A wave of embarrassment rushed over her as her reached up to wipe sweat out of his eyes. Her hand instinctively went up to her check, feeling the scar, long, raised and rough. She hoped he’d be done soon; she wanted to watch her show. She hoped he hadn’t noticed her siting there. She’d just pulled in when he walked up. The last time she’d seen him she’d said hello. He’d smiled politely and asked how she was, but there was a coldness in his eyes, the kind she always seen on the faces of men.
Kevin stood up and reached into his back pocket taking his phone out. He went into the vacant apartment and half closed the door behind him. Magnolia grabbed her grocery bag and made a run for her apartment, closing her door just as Kevin came back out. She put away her groceries as she heard the drill resume. As she ate dinner and watched her favorite show she heard him finish and test the door several times. She heard her neighbor Max greet him on the stairs.
“Hey, man how’s it going?”
“Not, two bad finishing up here then on my way to my second job,” Kevin said.
“Ya, still bouncing at Stella’s, Max asked.
“Still am,” Kevin said as he walked down the stairs. Magnolia she ran to the window, pulling the curtain open as he opened the door to his truck. She saw him look up when she looked out. She dropped the curtain quickly and went back to watching her show.
She was unable to sleep that night. She was thinking of Kevin guarding the door to Stella’s. She got up and began to surf the web. She went to Cragislist’s Missed Connections and began to look at the ads. A woman with red hair had smiled at a man on the elevator in the NCR building and he couldn’t stop thinking about her. A woman who slept in a tent in her studio apartment, because she was afraid of spiders was attempting to romance a successful young business man she’d seen shopping at Ikea.
Her hands shook as she opened up the post section.
‘Kevin Who works at Stella’s on Main St.’ she began.
‘You were working the door tonight at around 9:00 you smiled at me when I walked in. I am tall with redish blond hair. I was with my boyfriend and a few other people. I couldn’t take my eyes off of you all night. E mail me if you noticed me too.’
She hesitated for a moment and then posted it using an email address she used when she wanted to remain anonymous.
She got into bed wondering if she would ever get a response.
The next morning she woke up and immediately went to her dummies email. There was nothing there. She checked it several times though out the day, but there was still nothing. She wondered if he even had a computer, she knew he had a phone.
She saw him walking around the grounds the next day. Max came out of his apartment and the two of them appeared to be joking about something.
She attempted to hear what they were saying without getting to close to them.
“Hi. Magnolia”, Kevin called to her as she rushed back to her apartment.
“Hi” she said. She closed the door and began breathing heavily. Did he KNO?. He usually only said hello to her if she walked right by him and greeted him first. She turned on her TV and tried to concentrate on the news. She went to the window every five minutes to see if he was still there. She was relieved when she heard the sound of his truck starting and saw him pulling away.
She waited an hour and checked her email. There were a few crude propositions from various anonymous men, but nothing from Kevin.
She donned her baseball cap and went out for a long walk along the river. She sat for a long time watching a family of ducks fish and drift around. Her serenity was broken by two boys walked by and made a cruel remark about her.
She walked back to her apartment and checked her e mail again. This time there was an email from KEVINHART349@hotmail.com.
“I think you may be talking about me. E mail me and we can Skype.” The email said.
She took the ad down and deleted the email account. She did not see Kevin again for several weeks. She tried to forget about the incident.
She saw him again when he came by to change a light bulb that had gone out on the property. She said hello and he grunted a greeting back.
She waited until he left and sat down at her computer. She created a new email and wrote a new ad.
‘Guy who works the door at Stella’s’ she put in the headline. I can’t stop thinking about you. Email me if you see this,’ she wrote in the body of the ad. She posted it and sat down to watch her favorite show. She smiled to herself as the theme music began.