Midas Ears -part 3

Half an hour later he was still waiting. He had expected Anton to arrive minutes later, giving up on the simpleminded fight and come after him, leaving the man marinate in his own anger. Instead he had to marinate alone here, in the one-bulb lit basement room that stank of unwashed floors and chloride the locals seemed to adore.

When he finally arrived it was way pass the time allowed for washing on the sign.

“We can’t wash now,” he pointed out to Greek, when he without a word trashed in, grabbed his clothes, tossed them in and added washing powder he had brought with him.

“Next time act according to your profession!” He said for introduction. “The sign is to fool newcomers,” Anton explained, his voice sweet, but still thorny enough to hint on the arguing going on upstairs, “when they first come, we always have to deal with their forgotten loads. So we invented this and get to do the laundry in time when the newcomers are in bed.”

“But we have washing machine in the kitchen!” he didn’t give up, but Anton kept pushing the last sheet in the machine.

“Yes we do, but I doubt you’d come out of this alive should you now push it on.” He shrugged.

“I don’t think he’s much of a match, Anton.”

His eyes worked their way over his strong shoulders, slim waist and wide hips.

“Well,” he nodded, “what you make up in strength, he makes up with yelling. So take your pick, which one you wanna deal tonight, because I want to go to bed soon and wake up him not starting my day with some meaningless fight.”

“You’re a coward!”

It slip from Furqan’s lips before he understood what he had said. In his community that would mean a fight, but Anton only shrugged.

“Naah. I just want to wait to the end of my morning coffee before I get my day ruined. Give me that and we get along fine.” He gave him assuring smile and Furqan found it agreeable. “Alright, I gather you know how to actually wash clothes, right? You know the temperature differences and such, right?” he sounded hopeful, before nuzzling under his breath, “… ´cause I don’t.”

Furqan reached his hand out and switched the button behind Anton’s hip to the right program, inserted the ticket and started the program.

“Right. Now, you can either return upstairs or cool here for half an hour more. But I gotta warn you it’s rather cold after half an hour. I must go and get something against my headache, so your call.”

He frowned, shocked of the revelation. He took closer look at his face, but there was hardly any evidence, except his eye that were twitching.

He went and left him standing there.

At least his anger was gone, he admitted grimly and without further due, he followed him back to the apartment. He felt shame filling the empty space left by the anger. If Roshan had earned his anger and pain he wanted to inflict in his overeducated mind for being such a baby, then Anton hadn’t earned his headache in any way and he felt guilty for it.

When they reached to the door, Anton stopped and turned, hesitantly searching his eyes.

“I told him to ignore you.” He said. “Can’t say he’ll follow my advice, he hardly ever follows anyone’s advice, but I can say I tried.”

He pushed the door open and entered. What followed was such silence, they switched looks before daring to enter. Younger man was first to go, beckoning him to follow only seconds later.

“I think he’s gone to bed.” Anton whispered, immediately changing his balanced strode to tipping, before adding, chuckling: “I guess showering all day can be quite tiring.”

They both burst laughing, trying still be civilized and hide it, but it was so hard both their noses and cheeks turned purple.

“Quite an achievement, I must say,” he added and they both crooked over in another fit of pressed down laughter.

“Stop that!”

“God, I can’t, I have to work!”

This laughing session did more harm than any boxing fight he had in the past. He had hard time breathing, trying to keep back the laughing as much as he could. Anything Anton said next had the same effect and though the first few hours had been a shock, surprise and his own emotions betraying him, the future having him as a flat mate was proving nice turnaround.

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