My Neko Boyfriend
After several attempts at opening the tiny door, Maye-lee thought of an idea. She walked back around and stood in front of the hotel. Vines made their way to the top of the bordered-up windows, and the once chipped white paint looked black and moldy. She placed her feet down gently on the crooked stairs that led to the door. They creaked but were still intact by the time she reached the top. Grabbing the rusted handle of the door, she jigged it, but it was locked.
“Of course it’s locked,” she said with a sigh.
Following the wrap around porch, Maye-lee noticed a window that was slightly ajar. She knew she couldn’t fit through such a small space, not with all the frosted buns she had been snacking on with her father before bed. Still, she put her leg through the gap and attempted to push the rest of the window up. While she was successful, her dress snagged on a rusted old nail and tore at the bottom without her realizing.
The dust and musty smell tickled her nose as she walked towards the only other source of light coming from a window in the hallway. The old-fashioned chairs were tipped over, and what looked like a dining table was slightly covered by a sheet, wrinkled, and stained an off-white color.
Maye-lee covered her nose and tired not to sneeze or inhale anymore of the dust and pungent smell coming from the carpets. When she reached the wide circular entrance by the hallway, the red carpeted split staircase caught her eye. It reminded her of one she saw in a movie she watched with her mother. A grand hotel, with a beautiful woman standing on the landing of the split staircase, longing for a certain man to ask her to dance. She could tell this place was once packed with people enjoying their stay and she took her time to appreciate the décor and timely beauty of the place. It was a shame it was left in a state, and she wondered what had happened to everyone. Why it had been abandoned, and in such a hurry?
As she continued to look around, all thought of her dad and the shop had disappeared. She was emersed in this old, run-down building, and the search for the two boys. Until her phone vibrated, and a shock of knowing it was her father calling ran down her spine. She reached into the pocket of her dress and pulled out her phone. “Dad” buzzed on the small screen. She debated answering it before holding down the off button and shutting her phone off completely. Placing it back into her pocket, she wondered if it was a smart move. A voice in the back of her mind told her she was smarter than this. All the lessons on safety and keeping your phone charged had gone to waste in a matter of seconds. The thought lingered in her mind, and she decided to turn her phone back on and call him back. Before she could reach into her pocket again, a creak came from underneath the staircase.
Maye-lee caught a glimpse of a small tail retreating behind a door. It was similar to the door behind the building, camouflaged against the pale color of the walls. It was left slightly open, and Maye-lee jumped at the chance to see what was behind it. Opening the door wider slightly, she poked her head through. It was dark and she couldn’t see much of anything but the stairs that spiraled downward. She took a breath, and then closed the door behind her.
Running her hands against the cold wall, she took each step slowly and quietly. Mumbled voices echoed in the distance. As she creeped closer, she could hear them more clearly.
“Come here! Don’t run past me! What have I told you about going up there?” a strong voice questioned.
“I-I’m sorry. I was playing on the stairs, and I heard a noise,” a meek voice answered.
“What kind of noise?”
“Um, I don’t know…”
Maye-lee placed her hand over her mouth and began walking back up the stairs. Someone had heard her in the hotel, and they knew she was there. The footsteps of someone approaching grew louder, and she panicked. But before she could make it to the top, a hand grabbed her waist and pulled her body in close. As it did, they spun her around to face them. It was Sebastian. Her eyes widened and her heart raced even faster. He placed his finger against her lips as she gasped.
No words left Maye-lee’s mouth, but not by choice. His finger was placed firmly on her lips, and his deep and earthy scent caressed her nose, like the small of grass after it rains. He held her body in his embrace, until a red hue rushed to his cheeks and he released her.
In that moment Maye-lee forgot where she was. Too entranced by the warmth of their breath intertwining and his radiating blue eyes that almost hypnotized her.
“We gotta get out of here. Now!” he said, snapping her out of her mesmeric state.
But before she could gather her thoughts and produce a word, a small cat had appeared from the steps below. A sandy color and a lot smaller than Sebastian. He tilted his head and innocently asked them a question.
“Seb… W-who is she?”