Amelia walked by the front window of Lucky Chus. She looked in. Sitting at the counter was Abe, Mr. Chus 6-year-old autistic son. Amelia smiled at the sight of the boy, remembering how hed sometimes come and sit with her and Lowell in a booth and line up chopsticks on the table. She walked around the side of the building to the wooden stairs that led to Lowells loft. Amelias optimism faded as the wooden steps creaked beneath her feet. Something was wrong. Something wasnt right. She looked through the glass of the front door. She looked through the large front window into the living room. There were no lights on. There were no sofas or coffee tables. There were no posters on the walls. There were no CDs strewn about the floor. She could see through to the kitchen in the back. No dishes piled in the sink, no empty beer bottles on the counter.
Drops of rain began to fall into Amelias hair. No, she said to herself in near horror. No.
Panic-stricken, she shook the door handle. It was locked. She looked inside again, her face and hand pressed up against the glass. All that was left behind, lying on the floor, was a cardboard box that housed a plastic golfing trophy and an old pair of corduroy jeans.
In the span of five seconds, Amelias world crumbled. She didnt know what to do. She didnt know where to go. She just stood there alone at the doorstep, face in her hands, crying to herself. The sky opened up and rain pattered on the aluminum window awnings of the now-vacant loft.
Downstairs at the counter, Abe smiled as he quietly played with a paper
sign that hed taken out of the window which read Loft available, $500/mo.,