A loud electric squak from the apartment’s entry door, followed by Brad’s voice. “Hey.”
Jane looked quickly at Wings, then sat up and walked past her sparse furniture to the intercom. She pressed the call button. “What’s up?”
Jane stared at the silent intercom a moment, before it squaked again. “Not me, yet. Mind buzzing me in already?”
She pressed the call button again, uttered a brief apology, then pressed the small white rectanagle under the speaker. She heard the loud buzz from the apartment’s main entry door, heard the door swing open, then the sound of Brad’s feet stomping on the stairs.
Jane walked towards the kitchen, uttered a silent curse on seeing the piles of mail and dirty dishes on the table. She called to Wings, started to ask for her help — and stopped suddenly.
There was another sound coming from the stairway. A second pair of footfalls — lighter, not as swift as Brad’s. The heavier footfalls stopped, followed by the muffled sound of Brad’s voice, calling down.
Wings entered the kitchen. “What — ”
Jane held up the palm of her right hand, pursed her lips in a silent command for Wings to be quiet. A second voice from the hallway, calling up to the first. Female. Brad laughed, preventing Jane from hearing the second voice. Jane raced to the doorway, reached for the handle but then decided to press her ear to the door. Brad had stopped laughing, had reached the top of the stairs. The second voice called again. “Some day, you’ll appreciate elevators as much as I do.” Jane whispered a curse, as she realized that the voice could only belong to her mother.