The August day was ridiculously hot and the apartment was not air-conditioned. Greg decided to get out and go for a walk to the park where he hoped it would be a little cooler. Besides, someone was moving into the apartment across the hall and the noise of the moving furniture and the swearing of the moving men was getting annoying.
He hoped whoever was moving into the apartment was better than the last people. They were an attractive young couple who when they first came to the building seemed very nice and totally in love. But shortly after they moved in the screaming began. They yelled at each other at all hours of the day and night. One night the woman had actually locked the man out of the apartment while he was completely naked and would not let him back in. Exactly how she had done that was a mystery.
He pounded on the door and screamed but the woman would not let him back in. He finally had to go naked to the basement and ask old Mrs. Stanton the Superintendent to let him back in. After that a petition was circulated in the building to get the young couple out. It was a large building but 100% of the tenants signed the petition. The building was owned by a corporation in New York somewhere, but the petition got the corporation’s attention.
A week later the young couple was on their way out. As they were moving out they made a ridiculous display of acting all lovey-dovey. They were kissing and calling each other pet names. Some of the tenants who had signed the petition wanted to take bets on how many years it would be until one of the young couple killed the other. Most assumed it would be the woman who killed the man.
So that was how the apartment across the hall from Greg’s apartment became vacant. He had no intention of meeting the new tenant, he just wanted to go for a walk and get out of the heat and the noise.
Then Greg stepped out of his apartment and there in the hallway was a beautiful young woman in a pair of light blue terrycloth shorts and a matching terrycloth top. The outfit was very small and tight and her figure was striking. She was watching the moving men lug her furniture into the apartment. She heard Greg come out of his apartment and turned and smiled at him.
Greg was by nature an extremely shy person. He would normally never try to just walk up and introduce himself to a beautiful girl. But she was right there and it seemed perfectly natural to introduce himself and welcome her to the building. He assumed she would give him the “how dare you speak to me” look that many beautiful woman use. Instead she was very nice and incredibly easy to talk to. They spoke about how difficult it was to find an apartment. Greg decided it would not be a good time to mention how the apartment had become vacant.
They finally said goodbye and Greg went for his walk to the park. When he returned he was disappointed to see that the apartment door across from his was closed. The girl in the terrycloth shorts was all moved in. He felt like knocking on her door, but was not sure what to say and thought it would seem too pushy. So he went back to his own apartment and watched some T.V.
It was getting late in the afternoon when there was a knock on his door. He opened it and there she was. Her phone was not working and she asked if she could use his to call her mother and tell her the move went O.K. Greg pretended not to listen to the call, but of course hung on every word. When she told her mother that she had not yet gotten any food for her apartment, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
When she got off the phone, Greg said, “I could not help overhearing that you had no food. There is a great new Swiss restaurant near here. I would love to take you there.” To his surprise she actually said yes and agreed he would pick her up (by walking across the hall) in two hours.
When dinner time came he knocked on her door and when she opened it he got a surprise. She was no longer dressed in her skimpy terrycloth outfit. She had changed to something that made her look like a schoolteacher from the 1890s. She was wearing a plaid skirt and boots and a long sleeved white shirt that went all the way up to her neck and clasped with some sort of ivory broach. The only parts of her that were not covered were her hands and her head. She still looked great but it was a bit of a shock after the outfit from the afternoon.
At dinner he found out that she actually was a schoolteacher, and she loved it. She taught physical education to kids in the K through 6th grade. Greg was smart enough not to say she didn’t look like his idea of a “gym” teacher. He had never thought someone so feminine and charming would be in that line of work.
A good thing he had not voiced his thoughts since the phrase “gym teacher” turned out to be taboo. Apparently there was a whole new philosophy in the world of physical eduction. In the old days a few kids who were good athletes liked gym class and everyone else hated it and never exercised again after they got out of school. But she taught “fitness for life” so that all the kids enjoyed themselves and had fun. He pictured her surrounded by a bunch of little kids all day and he liked the scene.
Greg had never met someone so easy to talk to or so nice. The Swiss restaurant was the first of many dates. In less than a year they were married. The wedding was a huge Italian-Irish celebration, but that is another story.
A couple of secrets came out after they were married. It turns out that the terrycloth outfit had been borrowed from her sister and was way too small for her. She had not expected to meet anyone while wearing it. She also confessed that her phone had been working perfectly and that she actually did have some food in her apartment. She had liked Greg immediately and knew he was too shy to ask her out without a little hint.
What ever happened to the Girl In the Terrycloth Shorts? She is still around and still with Greg. Some of the readers of this blog may know her better as The Gentle Woman.