Though Mitch had only been away for a few weeks, the loft already felt alien; hostile, even.
The interior featured a color scheme of black and white and chrome, sterile without much trace of personality. There were a large few paintings hung up -likely worth thousands of dollars- but their compositions were made up of minimal brushstrokes and color; Mitch never gave them much consideration until now, but he hated them.
It was nothing like Jodie’s place, a patchwork of various knickknacks and mementos, each item large and small alike holding sentimental value. There were no tan and orange crochet throws that dated back from the ’70s strewn across the back of an olive sofa, nor were there tiles on the kitchen walls with hand painted fruits and vegetables on them. There were no mushroom shaped ceramic canisters, or a jungle’s worth of houseplants, or even a velvet Jesus. The warmth he’d grown accustomed to in a short period was absent, and the cold here was blinding.
“Oh no, your arm,” came Calvin’s voice from across the room, smooth as a serpent that was about to offer an apple. He approached with an infuriating placidity, as though he hadn’t been the root cause as to why Mitch’s entire life had been upended.
“Yup,” Mitch kept it curt, and with each step that Calvin took towards him, the fingers of his right hand curled into a tight fist, his nails digging into the palm from how hard they pressed. He found himself torn between the instinct to make jokes at his own expense and the urge to scream about the devastation that he endured. Instead, he kept anchored to where he stood and said nothing.
Calvin circled him once, observing and making god-only-knew what sort of judgment, before settling in front of him and Avi. He smelled great, Mitch noted, and his long dark hair was pulled up into a loose bun, exposing high cheek bones and a long throat and flawless olive skin that’d made Mitch a weak man once upon a time. Even now, seeing his face and this proximity between them, caused a cacophony of emotions to surface and threaten to spill over. He thought he’d steeled himself well enough in preparation, but the way that his body went rigid and his eyes prickled made it clear that his efforts were for nothing.
“So who’s your friend? I don’t believe we’ve met,” Calvin extended a hand to Avi, a Cartier watch adorning his slender wrist. Casual house wear, Mitch internally scoffed.
“Don’t-” Mitch spoke up, but was cut off.
“Avi.” Avi accepted the hand and shook it, much to Mitch’s chagrin. He should have asked Louis to help out with this task instead, someone capable of being cold and frightening when needed. Or maybe he could have taken advantage of Nate’s large stature and even bigger heart, except he would have gotten an earful later from Jodie about leading him on. Again.
“I take it you’re one of his wrestler friends?” Calvin commented, the subtle barb not lost on Mitch.
“I am!” Avi smiled brightly, and Mitch prayed that he hadn’t picked up on the insinuation. “We’re roommates, actually. Just moved in not too long ago.”
“Oh, there was room at the inn?” As Calvin spoke, Mitch couldn’t tell if his brain was leaking out of his ear canal or not. He hadn’t come for chit chat, and had to remind himself that Calvin had dumped him over the phone, 24 hours after his injury. He hadn’t done anything whatsoever to be of any assistance. They weren’t together anymore. He wasn’t entitled to any information about him. Mitch’s blood boiled over when Calvin turned to him and asked, “How is Jodie, by the way?”
“She’s great. Where’s- Calv, where’s my stuff?” Mitch’s teeth gnashed. He was done with pleasantries.
“Living room,” Calvin hitched a thumb over his shoulder, and Mitch practically bolted in that direction. “But it was a long drive, yeah? Can I offer you something to drink?”
“No,” Mitch gritted out. He spotted several plastic totes stacked up, with items haphazardly tossed into them. A wave of relief washed over him as he spotted a few familiar things, but he didn’t dare show any emotion over it. Truth be told, he was dumbfounded that Calvin exerted any effort into gathering it all, but he also knew that this was a testament to his annoyance more than good will.
Wordlessly, Avi grabbed two of the totes and wasted no time in heading back to the door with them. “Do you need a hand?” Calvin asked before he exited.
“Nope, all set!” Avi answered, then disappeared into the hall. The moment that he left, a wave of dread washed over Mitch as he stood in the center of the livingroom, alone with Calvin.