Months ago, I was contemplating my impending marriage, when I heard stomping upstairs.
“En Garde,” a voice declared.
It wasn’t my business, but I found myself creeping up the staircase to the third floor. Crouching down, I peered through the keyhole.
Having seen the apartment before, I was surprised by its present oddity. The new tenants furnished it entirely in white. Blanche walls accommodated large frameless mirrors. Plush ecru carpeting provided a base for eggshell hued sofas and end tables, along with a pristine white baby grand piano. However, they were not tickling the ivories tonight. They were fencing.
I focused on the two slender figures, dressed completely in black, lunging back and forth. They were almost indistinguishable. Their pale faces were the only flesh revealed; their long black ponytails slapped their backs as they attacked and retreated, foils within inches of one another.
Their lunges quickened; foils struck.
One charged, pressing the foil’s bulbous rubber tip to her opponent’s chest.
“Touché. No riposte.” She released her weapon.
The other dropped hers and stepped closer. She pulled the elastic band, freeing her long hair. The gesture was reciprocated. A moment elapsed before a deep kiss. In a flurry, clothes were thrown until both stood wearing only short black gloves. They acted in unison. A gloved finger traced a nipple and the other followed. Caressing and licking each other, they purred.
I quietly descended the staircase.
My fiancé pressed me to move in with him. I would’ve proceeded with our plans, but I longed to know more of the two upstairs.
The opportunity presented itself.
Opening the gate, I saw them talking to our landlady in the carriageway. Black gloves animated every comment. They quickly waved before disappearing into the stairwell.
I said, “I’m glad I caught you. I have the rent.”
She squinted. “Hello. Will you really be leaving at the end of your lease?”
“I’m afraid so.” I opened my checkbook. “Valentina and Lenore seemed in a hurry.”
“Expecting their manicurist. Hand models, you know?”
“Ah, the gloves.”
“They were runway models in New York.” She accepted the check and brought it close to her face. “Nice sisters. Good tenants.”
“Oh, they’re not sisters. Just emulate one another, right?”
“Is that what they told you?”
“They needn’t. My eyes aren’t that bad.”
“Of course,” I replied.
As the wedding neared, he asked me to start packing, but I wanted to stay in the building.
The other night, I snuck up and listened at their door.
“You’ve been sneaking food, Lenore. The evidence is in the trash.”
“Prove it. Put your hands in the can,” she dared.
“Shall I get the scale? Measure your hips? This is serious. Our metabolisms will shift if we’re not eating exactly the same. You will get fat.”
Regurgitation. While Lenore lost her extra calories in the toilet, the main door suddenly opened. Valentina stared at me.
“Prefer a better view?” she asked, leading me into their apartment.
The next morning, I renewed my lease.