I'm moving out, and I am a little confused and overwhelmed by this. I loved my apartment - the garden, the sunshine in the kitchen in the early morning, the quiet noises of the neighbors that travel through this old house like ghosts of moments I haven't witnessed. The wooden stairs creak when the guy from the top floor comes home late at night, and the sound has found it's way into my dreams many times. When the catholic family downstairs has had fish for dinner on Fridays, I have also been able to smell it every friggin' time.
The two rooms and tiny kitchen are just so lovely. Someone who lived here before me painted the walls a friendly, sunny yellow, and I left it that way. Most of the walls was covered by bookshelves anyway, and now the whole place seems strange. Much bigger than I thought it was while I was living here. The honey color of the wooden doors seems to gleam and reflect throughout the room. There is only a curtain to separate kitchen and living room (or rather, for me, office), but luckily I had a door to keep my bedroom out of sight (and control the chaos in case someone dropped by without warning). There's also the smaller, less welcoming door of the closet. A feature I especially liked about this place. A closet comes in so handy sometimes, you can stash all you funny things in there. I'll miss it - moving in with my boyfriend, I have not exactly figured out where to put all my stuff and hide the skeletons. We'll have to work things out in time. The last days were so busy, I just hope we didn't forget anything.
The doorbell rings, and my landlord has arrived. Today we are going to make sure everything is okay with the place, then I'll hand him the keys and walk out of here forever. I'll really miss that place.
The landlord, a friendly old man who os always wearing a long coat and an old-fashioned hat, agrees that the color of the walls is lovely and that they are in such a good condition I was right not to paint them white. He gives special scrutiny to the almost antique wooden floor, but finds no flaws there, either. Only the smell disturbs him.
"I know, not nice. This is because of the drains", I assure him. "I haven't been here for several days, so they probably just started smelling when no one used the water. It never was a problem while I was living here." Although it is also possible I simply got used to it, but I don't mention that out loud. It's highly improbable anyway.
The doorbell rings one more time, and I open the door with a huge smile on my face. My boyfriend has come to pick me up. We're almost done here. He smiles back at me, closes the front door behind him softly and rushes up the stairs to give me a hug and a tiny kiss. He is always shy in public.
The apartment is okay, no flaws, nothing needs repairing. I am ready to shake hands with my landlord and sign the papers, when he turns around to take a look at the closet. "You were a wonderful lodger, Miss..."
The door opens, and reveals my skeleton. Well, not exactly a skeleton, to be honest. There's still meat and skin covering part of the bones, and the clothes are glued to the body with slime and puss. The men in the room with me stand still, surprised, disgusted. Slowly, the body slides down against the wall, now that he has room for it, and falls out of the closet onto the wooden floor. My landlord loses his lunch.
So that was where the smell came from. Damn, I knew I had forgotten something.