by Howard Rue
Nicko makes a gruesome discover at the dog park-part one is fine, other might not be.
|Nicko had always wanted a dog. He had a pet rat, a cute bugger, but it died when he left the dorm, long before graduation. He had taken it as a sign. That perhaps, he needed to really renew himself when he moved to his first teacher position.
The new apartment was precisely that. New. The building almost seemed to be forced into the neighborhood, it's design work far from the locals original plans. The houses were squat, ranches but his apartment building rose out imposingly, as if a faux rock middle finger to the old world that had been in the area for years.
And it was cheap. An important factor to consider.
Nicko elected for the remote location because he knew that that's where the pay would be better. Having come off a strong college relationship, it would be good to rest without having to worry about the details with dating. He had a chance to start his adult life anew. New teaching position, new state, far from family and only a day's drive from the beach. A city was also close by should we want to eventually discover a coffeehouse worth merit.
He just wished for cable.
This lead to the four thirty ritual. He hated regular television, but his meager sums of cash had yet to pile up. He got the local channels, but after Judge Judy ended after teaching, he was stuck with the usual panic striken news. He made himself dinner early sometimes and then wondered down to the onsite gym to see about exercise.
That before he discovered Hollister, downstairs.
Not his real name of course. And it was evident to Nicko that the shirt was the man's lazy shirt. No one would wear that pale blue shirt every day, but Hollister did and would waltz over to the dog park in nearby with a small dog. A toy poodle, he thought. The nails were painted, that he could see from his angle and that probably meant something. What? Nicko wasn't sure. But the shirt was surely too tight for the man about the same age as him.
And he had a rainbow sticker on the bumper of his Mustang.
Nicko knew better than to start filling the gaps too soon after a relationship. He was new to town and this bloke lived directly below him. All he needed to do was start a relationship with someone in the same building and he would be stuck keeping odd hours trying to avoid them should things not work out.
But he wasn't an idiot either.
The young man was athletic or was blessed with incredible genes. THe shirt was even ripped and he still made it look like a fashion statement. So? Nicko was treated to the squeal of the back sliding glass door and Hollister would meader over to the dog park with his small poodle.
Friends were rare to come by, Nicko eventually figured out.
It took all over two seconds to find his shoes and follow his new counterpart over to the local dog park.