Hello, everyone! Thank you, Addison, for letting me swing by today. It’s always a pleasure to be here 😊
Did you all know that JMS Books is turning twelve years this month? It’s pretty impressive, isn’t it? So many publishing houses have closed down in the last few years, but JMS Books is still around, and I’m so happy to have found a home there.
To celebrate this happy occasion, there will be several stories released this month that has something to do with twelve. My contribution is called Keep it Down! and it’s about two neighbours who don’t get along… or at least Eason doesn’t get along with Nate. Nate thinks maybe they have something LOL.
Nate is having wild parties in his apartment way too often in Eason’s opinion – which he lets Nate know by sticking angry Post-it notes on his door and occasionally calling the cops on him. Nate acts like an irresponsible kid with no respect for the other tenants, and Eason wishes he could push him down the stairs.
But then Eason is hit by a car on his way home from work and ends up with a fractured leg. Nate kicks all his friends out and takes care of Eason.
The dynamic change. Eason was convinced he hated or at least disliked Nate a lot, but when he cooks and shops and makes sure Eason has everything he needs within reach, he’s not so sure anymore.
Many, many years ago, when I was studying to become a teacher, I fractured my foot. I lived on the third floor in an apartment building without an elevator, and Hubby was away being a UN soldier in Liberia.
I was studying language history at the moment, Swedish language history, and we were to translate runes and old pieces of literature. I found it interesting, but it was a lot to study, and a lot that I found hard to grasp, so I didn’t want to miss any lectures. Hopping on crutches to get to the university was a nightmare, and I remember how much my hands hurt.
Luckily, there was a guy who lived on the same street as I did who had a car, and while we didn’t have the same schedule, he could drive me some days.
Other than the pain of getting to and from school, I remember how I was hopping around my one-room apartment with a backpack on most times. With both your hands occupied with crutches, it’s hard to carry stuff, and a girl needs her coffee to be able to study.
I relived a lot of memories from that time while writing this story – getting down the stairs, showering, the pain of getting groceries and doing laundry. My poor mum, who lived in a neighbouring town, came to help me do laundry and shopping every weekend. So much fun LOL
My twelve to celebrate the twelfth anniversary isn’t twelve fractured bones if that was what you think, but twelve Post-its. They go from angry to little reminders to cute love notes as the story progresses 😊
He didn’t know how long he stared at the white cast before the nurse came back with a pair of gray sweats. Eason winced. They’d ruined his work pants with scissors when he’d come in. “Let’s see if we can fit these over the cast.” She handed them over, and Eason realized he was sitting on the examination table in his underwear.
“I’ll help you.” She bunched the left leg of the sweats and eased his foot into the hole, then she went about to do the same with the right. “Now it gets a little trickier. Do you have anyone who can help you shower at home?”
“I live alone.”
She grimaced. “You need to wrap the cast with plastic so it doesn’t get wet. It’s easier with assistance.”
Nate’s face flashed before his eyes, but no. “I can imagine.”
“Right, here we go.” She nudged and pulled and soon he was dressed. She smiled for all of two seconds before sighing. “We could have gone with a pair of shorts, it would’ve been easier, and I don’t think you’d be cold on your way home.”
Eason was wearing a dark blue suit jacket and gray sweats. He didn’t want to go anywhere where people could see him.
“Do you have anyone picking you up?”
Again, Nate’s face popped up in his mind. “No, I’ll call a cab.”
She smiled. “Okay, are you ready?” She reached for a pair of crutches he hadn’t seen her bring into the room. Damn, had his brain melted on the way over here? How had he gotten here?
After a brief lecture about pain medication and how to not get the cast wet, not put any weight on the foot, keep it elevated, and so on, he left the hospital and managed to get into the cab rolling up right outside the entrance.
By the time they reached his street, his leg was throbbing, and he was gritting his teeth. Fuck, it hurt to break your leg. How could people say that when they wished someone luck?
The cab driver helped him out but left him on the sidewalk. The first problem came when he had to get in through the door, but it proved not to be anything compared to getting up the stairs. His mood didn’t improve when he heard music thumping in the staircase. Fucking Nate.
By the time he reached the third floor, his muscles were straining, his arms and left leg shaking, and sweat was trickling down his spine.
Unlocking the door, he hopped into the kitchen, grabbed a Post-it, and wrote: Keep it the fuck down or I’ll call the cops.
He wanted to shower, even his hair was wet from sweat, but he wasn’t sure he’d manage to stand for much longer. Hopping out onto the landing outside his and Nate’s door with the Post-it stuck to the back of his hand, he closed the door behind him to prevent Loki from running out. He was not fit for searching for a cat in the staircase today.
First, he knocked on Nate’s door, but no one opened. Then he rang the doorbell, but no one opened. Sighing, he took the Post-it and stuck it over the peephole. He didn’t believe Nate would see it, but the cops would when they arrived if he called them. Turning around, he managed two small hops before Nate’s door was banged open, and a girl no more than twenty, in far too little clothing, laughingly fell out onto the landing. She laid on her back and laughed again as she looked up at him.
“Eason?” Nate stepped out of the apartment and offered the girl a hand up.
“Keep it the fuck down.”
Nate stepped closer, ignoring the people spilling out of his apartment. “What happened?” He motioned at the crutches.
“I was run over by a car. Can you please keep it down?”
Nate’s mouth was open as he studied Eason, then he pressed his lips into a thin line.
A guy in skintight jeans, a holey T-shirt, and enough bracelets to make him jingle with every move hooked his arm in Nate’s. “Come on, Nate. Let’s get out of here.”
Nate shook his arm loose. “Another time.”
“What?” The guy pouted, not attractive on an almost grown man. Eason sighed. He didn’t know how Nate could stand to hang out with these children, and if that made him a condescending bitch, then so be it.
“Eason needs me. You hurry along, and I might catch up with you later.”
The guy groaned and shot Eason a nasty look.
“You can go. As long as your apartment is quiet, I’m fine.”
Nate shook his head. “I’m staying with you.”
“Nate.” He didn’t mean to whine, but it was how it came out.
“We’ll watch a movie. I’ll fix some food. I bet you haven’t eaten.”
Eason shook his head. He hadn’t eaten, and no way would he be able to stand long enough to cook something. “Okay. Thank you.”
The smile Nate gave him would be one he would keep with him forever.
One day, Eason Wickham will push his next-door neighbor down the stairs. Nate Allen might be hot, but he’s the most annoying person Eason has ever met. He has no respect for the people living in the building, and night after night, he has a party. Whenever Eason rings his doorbell and tells him to keep it down, he flirts and tries to get Eason to come inside.
Calling the cops does not affect Nate’s behavior, and neither do Eason’s angry Post-It notes. But when Eason is hit by a car and fractures his leg, Nate sends his friends packing and makes sure Eason is okay. He cooks for him, shops for him, and does his laundry, but he’s still the most annoying person Eason has ever met. Right?
The cute Post-Its Nate leaves for him to find doesn’t mean he’s a different person, and while Eason longs for when Nate gets off work every day, it doesn’t mean they should be more than friends. Does it?
Ofelia Gränd is Swedish, which often shines through in her stories. She likes to write about everyday people ending up in not-so-everyday situations, and hopefully also getting out of them. She writes romance, contemporary, paranormal, Sci-Fi and whatever else catches her fancy.
Her books are written for readers who want to take a break from their everyday life for an hour or two.
When Ofelia manages to tear herself from the screen and sneak away from her husband and children, she likes to take walks in the woods…if she’s lucky she finds her way back home again.