“If they are, we’ll just have to be loud right back at them,” Genesis said. “Like that time I—”
Angela grabbed Genesis by the arms and frogmarched her into the elevator.
“Okay, off to work you go!” she said, and stepped back.
Genesis laughed as the door slid shut behind her. Angela’s phone buzzed a moment later.
“Love you,” a text from Genesis said.
“Love you too,” Angela replied.
She turned and headed back to her apartment. Along the way, she peered through her neighbor’s open door. The living room was a maze of boxes and scattered furniture. An Asian boy no older than twelve sat on a leather couch reading a comic book with a blank expression on his face.
“Hi,” a man’s voice said.
She jumped and turned around. He stood about halfway between her and the elevator, carrying a large suitcase. The man was also Asian, with a short boxed beard and glasses. He was dressed in a plaid button-down shirt and black jeans.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry,” Angela said, reddening a bit.
She turned to her apartment and opened the door.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I guess we’re going to be neighbors. How do you do? I’m Harry Ikeda.”
“Angela Osbourne,” she replied.
She shook his hand but didn’t meet his gaze.
“Nice to meet you,” he said. He nodded into his apartment. “And that’s Tommy.”
She glanced at the boy again.
“Your… brother?” she asked.
“Son, actually,” he replied. “But I’ll take the compliment.”
Angela smiled faintly.
“Is… is it just the two of you?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he replied. “My wife passed away last year.”
“Oh,” Angela said. “I’m so sorry.”
“Thanks,” he said. “I figured we were due for a change of scenery after all that’s happened, so here we are.”