Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four
“Alright, alright,” Terry waved his hands, drawing everyone’s attention back to the matter at hand and away from me and my long-awaited muffin. “This is getting out of hand. I suggest we table these suggestions until another-“
Don interrupted him “–well we could vote on it at least.”
Terry scowled at him. “Another day. When we’ve all had a chance to think on it. Alright?”
Don frowned and crossed his arms.
“Right then,” said Terry. “I just have one more announcement. Next week we have a new tenant moving into room 312. We’ll be keeping Bob occupied in the east stairwell during the move, so use the west stairwell or the elevator if you see a moving truck out front on the 25th.”
I nearly spat out a chunk of muffin. “A new tenant? Do they know?”
“Of course she knows,” Terry frowned. “It’s in the lease. She signed it.”
There’s a clause in all of our leases that say we won’t sue anyone for damages associated with Bob. I seriously doubt it would hold up in court, but to challenge it you’d also have to prove that Bob exists. Given his inconvenient disappearing acts whenever the police or animal control show up, I’m not holding my breath.
“But does she know?” I say.
“What do you mean, does she know?” says Terry.
“What living with Bob means. That it’s real. How to stay safe.”
“Well, she soon will. And I trust those living here already will give whatever help they can.”
“This is totally irresponsible.”
Terry huffed. “We have to find renters, Ashley. We’re sitting at 60% occupancy as it is. What do you want me to do?”
“Show her,” I say. “You said Bob is going to be in the east stairwell. Show her. Make sure she knows what she’s getting into.”
“Well, that would be irresponsible. Knowingly putting someone in close proximity to such a creature.”
“Oh, but it’s just fine if you set her up to unknowingly wander into close proximity with Bob dozens of times a year?”
I’m about to give Terry another piece of my mind when a quavering screech from somewhere nearby derails my train of thought. It does nothing to quell my frustration however. Even as I’ve been saying these things, I don’t know what’s come over me. I practically never say anything at these meetings.
Maybe I’m still mad that I had to risk my life to attend, Terry couldn’t even be bothered to get decent snacks, and then started the meeting before I had a chance to get my hands on one crummy muffin.
“Shut up, Bob,” I say.
“I don’t think that was Bob,” says Old Roger.
An uneasy hush falls over the group for about the third time this evening. No one needs to ask the question we’ve all been forced to consider.
“Shut up Roger,” says Terry.
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