Miles and Iggy moved into their new apartment the first week of January. Miles coerced his friends into helping him move. Robin was most displeased.
“I hate moving,” Robin complained darkly to Miles as he carried a box of kitchen utensils into their new kitchen. “You know I hate moving. I told you that I hate moving. And yet, here I am.”
“I think you’re here because you’re such a kind, helpful, thoughtful person,” Miles told him.
“You’re dead to me,” was Robin’s very flat response.
“If I have to be here, you have to be here,” Oscar told Robin, dropping off his own box of kitchen wares.
“How do you figure that works?” Robin retorted.
“You’ve known him longer,” Oscar answered, as though it should’ve been obvious.
“Well, if I had known it was going to lead to this fourteen years later, I would’ve sat next to someone else during that production of Jesus Christ Superstar our church camp counsellors put on,” Robin said.
“Yeah, then you could’ve been lifelong friends with Drooly Darren, that kid who legitimately had two different types of headgear,” Miles cut in.
“I bet he wouldn’t have asked me to help him move,” Robin told Miles. “First of all, he’d never get a girlfriend to move in with.”
“Well, I’m sure he no longer has headgear,” Oscar interjected, rolling his eyes.
“No, probably not, but he did say some pretty shockingly sexist things for a ten year old,” Robin returned.
“Oh yeah,” Miles thought back on it.
“Oh, well in that case, fuck Drooly Darren! I hope he never finds love!” Oscar shouted just as Iggy walked into the apartment carrying a laundry basket of linens.
“I don’t even want to know,” she told them before anyone had a chance to explain.
Miles and Iggy finished unpacking in the middle of the night, well after everyone had gone and had their obligatory pizza. Miles was feeling really good about the whole thing. For one thing, he felt he was making a very positive step in relationship progress with Iggy. But mostly he no longer had to live with his mopey former roommate Liam and that was a definite plus. Liam had teared up while Miles and his friends were clearing out the last of his stuff. Ramsay hadn’t done well with that.
“What the fuck is wrong with him?” Ramsay had asked at the time, speaking to Miles in a low voice.
“He’s sad that I’m moving out,” Miles had answered, as if it should’ve been obvious. In fact, it definitely should have been obvious. Liam had literally said the words “I’m going to miss you so much” to Miles.
“Why?” Ramsay had returned, seemingly confused by the premise of emotions.
“What do you mean why?” Miles had asked in reply.
“Surely he wants to be rid of you,” Ramsay had said, which wasn’t overly kind and didn’t make Miles feel super great about himself so he smacked Ramsay in the head.
At the same time, Iggy had also expressed great pleasure at no longer having to share a home with Mona and Klaus and their newfound relationship. They were quite fond of public displays of affection. Miles knew this for a fact because he had accidentally walked in on Mona and Klaus in some seriously incriminating positions just entering the living room of their apartment. Plus, as Iggy pointed out, now she could have more than one person over at a time and no longer had to go to bed sharply at ten. She could poop whenever she wanted and she would never have to put up with Judith’s smugness again.
“Judith the cat?” Miles checked.
“No, Judith Butler the human and feminist,” Iggy retorted sarcastically, rolling her eyes as if Miles was the one being ridiculous. He didn’t agree with that, but he let it go in deference to their first night together at their brand new home.
Their new apartment was on the seventh floor of a high rise apartment building. It was a two-bedroom technically, but the second bedroom was quite small so they were using it as a den and office as Miles sometimes worked from home. They had a minuscule galley kitchen, which had been painted an alarming turquoise colour for reasons unclear to Miles. It opened to a disproportionately large living room. They had a small balcony off the living room as well. There was a full bathroom in the hallway before the office and then a full en suite off of the master bedroom as well. Iggy was pleased that they had two bathrooms as it meant that Miles wouldn’t complain while she was using the other one. Again, this stemmed entirely from the fact that she used to have to use the bathroom on schedule or else suffer the wrath of Mona.
They finished unpacking and then crawled into their freshly laundered sheets in their new bed in their new bedroom and went to sleep. At least they tried to go to sleep. It wasn’t until they were both settled and relaxed when the noises began. At first, it sounded like the whimpering of a small dog. It seemed to be coming from directly above them. And then it grew louder and more inescapable. It was as if the sound was occurring on all sides around them. Miles couldn’t focus on anything else. He laid awake, staring at the ceiling above the bed in stunned horror. Iggy didn’t say anything so part of him wondered if she had even noticed. Although, it seemed almost impossible that she wouldn’t have.
But then she finally spoke up.
“What the actual fuck is that?” She demanded into the darkness of their bedroom.
“I think our upstairs neighbours might be having sex,” Miles answered calmly, stunned into casualness.
“There’s no way that’s what’s happening,” Iggy returned immediately. “It sounds like about a hundred seals fighting over a live rat.”
It wasn’t an inaccurate comparison.
“Like a couple of salmon who’ve landed on dry land and are now trying to flop their way back to the sea while their seagull friend cheers them on,” Miles offered after a moment.
“Like a dying whale.”
“Or a donkey caught in a kiddy pool of jam.”
“Like someone trying to scoop liquid cheese from a metal container with a spork.”
“It’s horrible, is what it is,” Miles said in summation.
“Do you think this will be a regular occurrence?” Iggy asked.
“I would assume so, yeah.”
“Maybe this is a one-off,” Iggy said hopefully.
“Yes,” Miles agreed. “Maybe this is actually the sound of them fighting for their lives and they’ll die soon.”
“God, I hope so.”