Melvin watched Gloria climb the stairs to the second floor of the apartment building, her mini-skirt riding up her thighs with each step. She was more Playboy bunny than cover model. Soft and curvy.
He focused his attention back on his neighbor Liza and her new puppy, Jojo.
Liza pushed up her glasses and gave him a toothy grin. “Isn’t she adorable? The vet said she’s probably a miniature poodle/chihuahua mix. Another day and she would have been euthanized.”
The little dog squirmed in Melvin’s hands and licked his fingers. She was adorable right up until he felt warm liquid in his lap. Eeuw.
“Oh, God, Melvin, I’m so sorry!” Liza stood up just as Gloria passed by, and knocked the grocery bag out of her hands.
Gloria jumped back and screamed. “You idiot! Look what you did.”
A few cans of Chef Boyardee rolled away, and the bag split open on the ground, revealing a six-pack of cheap beer and a Cosmo magazine. Liza chased after the cans and then retrieved a reusable grocery bag from behind her apartment door. She put everything carefully inside and handed it to Gloria.
“Your clumsy girlfriend is a menace to the building,” Gloria said with a sneer. “You should keep her and the dog on a leash.”
Liza reddened and tears glistened in her eyes. “I’m not his girlfriend,” she said with a sniff, keeping her eyes averted from both of them.
“You should be,” Gloria said, turning on her stiletto heels. “You nerds deserve each other.”
“Maybe,” Melvin said. “But I’m not sure what we did to deserve you.”
Gloria huffed as she unlocked her door and disappeared inside.
Liza snickered, but then shook her head. “I feel sorry for her. She must be a really unhappy woman.” She grabbed Jojo and said, “I’ll go get you a towel.”
How could she be so forgiving? He’d wanted to knock Gloria down the stairs for being so mean to the woman he…oh my, God. He jumped up and met Liza coming out of the doorway.
She stopped with a laugh, hand on her chest. “You startled me.” Behind the thick glasses, her blue eyes glowed. She studied him for a second and furrowed her brow. “What?”
“Gloria was right about one thing,” he said, feeling breathless. “We do deserve each other.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked.
He knew he was grinning like a mad man, but he didn’t care. “Come to dinner with me tonight.”
Liza smiled. “Okay.”
Without thinking he kissed her.
And they both got exactly what they deserved.