Laundry Can Be Scary.
It’s getting late.
I’ve lived in my apartment for over a week now and I still haven’t done my laundry. I mean… Look at it: the white hamper is filled to the brim and my light pink underwear is just seconds from hitting the floor.
“Ugh,” I say to myself as I continue scrolling on my phone.
Then – of course – an ad for a nearby laundromat appears on my Instagram: “OPEN 24/7!” it reads in colorful text.
I guess my FBI agent really wants me to go.
“Well, I have to learn how to do laundry eventually.”
It’s empty… I mean it is 10 o’clock on a Friday — who the hell is going to be doing laundry?
The answer: me, unfortunately.
I lugged my dark maroon laundry bag inside and shut the door behind me. There’s dozens of silver, shiny machines that the glistening lights bounce right off of.
Not even a worker or shop owner was in sight.
“That’s a little sus,” I mumbled. “Eh… whatever.”
I grabbed a cart and plopped my laundry bag onto it. The cart would bang in between the crevices of the tile floor as I took a stroll around to find the perfect machine.
Just kidding, I have no idea what I’m looking for.
I stopped in the middle of the room and looked at my reflection in one of the machines; my hair was looking crazy… I’m glad no one else is here.
I opened the machine’s door and took a peek inside, “Good enough for me,” I shrugged.
I began throwing — literally — all of my clothes inside — what I hoped — was a washing machine and hummed to myself as I did so.
Just as I was about to throw in a white crop top inside, I heard someone come inside. I couldn’t help but turn around… and of course that meant: awkward eye contact.
It was a guy, and he wore a mustard yellow beanie, a beige hoodie with a white t-shirt peeking under, and dark olive pants. The pants didn’t cover his ankles, but his white socks did that for him. I liked his pair of gray New Balances.
“Hi,” he smiled at me.
“Hi,” I smiled back.
Ok, so returning to the question of “who the hell is going to be doing laundry right now?” The answer: me and – luckily – this guy.
“I’m surprised there’s someone here at 10 o’clock at night… on a Friday…,” he chuckled. I had no right to even be mad about it.
He made his way further inside, “Yeah…,” I fiddled with my crop top. “Well I mean.. same question goes to you!”
He put his hands up in surrender, forcing me to notice that he walked in with nothing but his phone, keys, and a good outfit. “I work here.”
Suddenly I felt my hands get a little sweaty as I nervously laughed and said “Ohhh” to hide the fact that added pressure was just put on me. He’s cute and he works here? God, he’s going to see I’m a rookie and I’ll scare him away forever.
“Cool!” I turned back towards the what-I-hope-is-a-washing-machine-especially-since-cute-guy-worker-is-watching-me.
Trying to pretend the conversation was dead, I tossed in my crop top and was ready to throw in a red pair of shorts.
“Woah!” he rushed to me. “Are you doing colors or whites?”
“Uhhhh,” I said looking at the shorts in my hand. “Both?”
He looked at me as if he had seen a ghost. Then he laughed, “You must be a rookie.”
“W-What!” I protested. “I am most definitely not-” He looked inside the machine where clearly my whites and colors were all together “-- not an expert. I am most definitely not an expert…”
Again, he laughed, but this time, motioned to my clothes inside the machine, “May I?”
He grabbed my cart and pulled it towards us. He began to reach for some clothes and sort it out, “First, you’ll want to sort your clothes by color-” he held up the white crop top and red shorts, throwing them in opposite directions “-and fabric. Similar items should always be washed and dried with similar items.”
“Next!” he kept all my bright colors in the machine, “You should use cold water for bright colors-” he pressed a few buttons. “-hot water for white loads, and warm water for the average load.”
“Mhmm, mhmm,” I nodded, pretending to take notes. We both laughed. The lights flickered constantly, but I didn’t mind it at all.
A cool breeze would hit me from time to time, but I didn’t think much of it. I smiled as I saw him sort through my clothes — though he had a confused facial expression, obviously judging me.
“Uhhh,” oh no, he caught me staring. “What happened… to this shirt?” He turned to face me and held up a cotton white shirt with a huge, faded red stain. “It looks like you killed someone!” he blurted, laughing.
I laughed with him, but he stopped and said, “Please tell me you didn’t kill someone’”
“I didn’t kill someone!”
“You sure?” He raised a brow.
“Well if I did, you’d be my accomplice now, wouldn’t you?” I shrugged.
He let out a deep breath, “Yeah… Let’s get rid of the crime scene.”
Maybe laundry isn’t so scary after all.
Suddenly, BONG —the clock rang. Clocks still do that? I looked up, “Wow 12 a.m. already huh?”
He froze in motion. “Oh jeez… time flew by,” he stood up and walked over to me, handing my remaining clothes. I was sitting on a plastic chair just a few feet from where he was.
It got quiet. Real quiet.
“Sorry,” he took a seat next to me. “I gotta run.”
“Shift over already?”
“Something like that,” he smiled, while I frowned.
He stood up and walked towards the door. I could hear his keys jingling from his pants and his sneakers hitting the floor.
He stopped right in front of the entrance, “Oh!” he turned back to me, “Don’t forget — wash colors inside out to prevent fading over time and dry clean or dry clean recommended can be hand washed, but dry clean only means dry clean only!”
“Really?!” I busted out laughing. “You’re leaving me with laundry tips?!”
He smiled and was about to say something else but —
“Hello miss!” I turned my attention to an old woman who came from the back. “You’re here quite late!”
“Y-Yeah!” I giggled, holding up my light pink underwear. “I had to get my laundry done.”
“Ah!” she smiled. “Well, if you need anything, let me know.”
“Oh that’s alright, this guy right there-“ I turned towards the door and he was gone. I didn’t even hear the door close. “helped… me.”
“A guy? I’m sorry miss, but I’m the only one who works here.”
“B-But,” I got up from my seat. “He was here. And he was telling me about whites and colors and warm and cool water and dry cleaning only is for dry cleaning only…?”
“Oh,” the woman smirked. “That must’ve been my son.”
“Yes,” she looked at the clock. “It’s his death anniversary.”