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Honey Sunshine Chai Tea Warm Milk

The Laundry

She walks off the elevator and takes a left.
Walking down that same blueish-grey hallway, cold concrete floor, wondering who could possibly live in the basement.
There was an apartment number down there!
It gave her shivers every time she was next to it, as if she could feel someone looking at her through the peephole.
Trying to shake the thought from her mind, she unlocks the glass door and walks cautiously into the laundry room.

Alone. Again. Quiet.

All the mailboxes in a long line, stacked upon each other; their silvery doors.
She liked trying to memorize the apartment numbers.

She huffed.

"Okay, fine, I'll do it..." She sighed to herself, pulling the load of laundry beside her.

Which washer should I choose this time?

She liked to rotate the order, so every washer got a chance to be used.
She grabbed the coin purse off the top of the pile of clothes and shook em just to hear the sound they made for her. Smiling.

"Thank you for letting me to be able to wash these clothes, Little Quarters!" She was proud of them.

One, two, three, four, five quarters slip perfectly into the slot and fall harshly into that empty metal box.

"Make sure it's on cold!" Her mother would always remind her.

"I knowww..." She'd respond.

She liked filling the soap lid with the goopy, blue detergent. She'd do it so slow that it almost looked like it was falling in slow motion.
Pouring it into the running water, watching the bubbles start to form, she puts in item after item; making sure they are thoroughly drowning in the water, making her hands cold.

She sighs and closes the lid, which accidentally slips from her grip and slams against the metal opening and fills the empty concrete room with a startling BANG!
Her heart skipping a beat, and than racing for a few more seconds following.
The washer goes into full, washing mode.
When it starts to rock back and forth, when it wanted to break free from this horrid basement it seemed, was her cue to go peruse the "Free Table."
It was her favorite part about doing laundry.
She almost always found something she'd hold near and dear to her heart.
Jewelry, books, clothes, CD' was awesome!
This time she only found a few goofy looking earrings that you snap on over your ears. Old people wear them all the time.

"Dammit!" She walked back over the angry washer.

She leaned on the lid with her head cupped in her hand, watching the glowing, blue-green numbers in the time box count down the minutes.




She was still alone.

With the quiet mailboxes and empty dryers. The empty basement with the creepy storage units. That creepy basement apartment...
There were small windows you could look out of too.
But it always felt like someone was staring down through them, looking at her little body.
She shivered and tried to think of something else.

Counting mailboxes.
Looking back over at the time left on the washer.




God, finally!

"I wonder what my mom is doing." She thought to herself.

"Tomorrow, I'm gunna go sit out in the grass. Maybe I'll take my turtle with me too so he can get some exercise. Not that he's fat or anything like that, but I bet he likes to feel the sunshine on his back too!" She was excited for tomorrow to come.

The washer finally calmed down and she could tell it was tired. How could you not be? All that work!
She opened the lid carefully, so as not to drop it like last time and scare the shit outta her.

Looking over at the dryers lined up against the wall, she decided to go with the middle one. Again, she liked giving all the washers and dryers a chance. The middle one's turn was up.

Again, pulling the coin purse from out of the laundry basket, she gives em a little shake to wake them up for their weekly duty.

"Wake up! Wake up! It is time Little Quarters!" She giggled.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five more quarters into that little slot.
She transferred the clothes sloppily from the washer to the dryer, dropping a few socks and T-shirts along the way.
At this point, she just wanted to go lay down in her nice, tall, cozy loft bed.
She was outgrowing it and had to be careful to not wake up too fast and smack her head on the ceiling.
But she loved her bed. Always.

She sat up on top of the dryer and pressed start.


She loved how warm the dryer made her body. It rocked her just a little bit too. It was comforting. The little rhythms it made.

Now she had time to ponder on things.
Her feelings on certain subjects.
She wanted to read. Quietly. Peacefully in her bed. All night long.
Become friends with all her favorite characters. Live their lives. Just for a day.

She loved her imagination.


She hummed some lyrics from one of the songs her mom was playing by, The Shins.
She dreaded having to go to school on Monday. She hated it because her only real friend was her teacher.
That's how it was every year...
She knew to get close to the teachers. And she loved them all. What they gave her. What they taught her.
Sometimes during lunch, she'd play on the swings. The whole time. She loved how it felt like she could fly. Leaning back in her swing and seeing that big blue sky flow in her vision, those butterflies getting her stomach. She liked that feeling.


Then she imagined her mother's hair. The way it fell in her face. Or how it smelled when she walked by.
She loved when her mom would wake up. And her hair would be beautifully messy. And she always smelled like copper sunshine.
And the way her hands felt. So soft, and they were elegant looking.
She stared down at her own hands and imagined her hands as her mothers and smiled.

She remembered a time when she was little and her mother was doing laundry. She was looking up at her quizzically.

"Mom?" She said shyly.

"Mhmm.." Her mom replied, putting the newly washed clothes into the dryer.

"How old are you, mom?" She asked.

"Twenty-eight.Why?" She laughed.


She climbed off the dryer and brought the laundry basket closer to her. Made sure the detergent and dryer sheets-

"Crap! I forgot to use a dryer sheet!!" She exclaimed.

Sigh... "maybe she won't know I forgot."

She pulled open the dryer and grabbed as many clothes as she could and stuffed them into the basket.

"I'll fold them upstairs."

Everything was clean and ready to go.
But there was always one thing she never forgot to do:

Check every washer and dryer for lost quarters.

All four dryers were empty.
Three out of the four washers had three quarters in total.

"Yes!!!" She was excited.

Sometimes, she'd secretly sneak a couple quarters from the coin purse and add them to her new-found quarters so that she could grab something from the vending machine on her way back upstairs.
This time she had just enough to buy some Gobstoppers.

She booked it down the creepy hallway, and stood directly in front of the vending machine, scanning for the Gobstoppers.

"Ah-ha!" Gotcha.

One. Two. Three. Four quarters in the perfect little slot.

The black metal coiled itself out and down dropped her candy. She hid them in her pajamas and turned to her right to press the button to go back up.

The elevators were ancient, it seemed. Sometimes when she got on, she was nervous that it would get stuck and she'd have to climb out from the top and somehow make it up the rest of the way. Dark and creepy, old elevator shaft. More shivers.
The elevators doors opened for her and dared her anyway.

"Okay, elevator, be nice to me tonight." She was strict about it.

She pulled the laundry basked behind her and into the elevator, as it's old door slowly closed her in.


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