In hindsight, the choice seemed like an easy one, but it wasn’t at the time. Just take the clothes out of the dryer. Who’s ever clothes they were had had time to pick them up. I’d been sitting here for more than fifteen minutes. That’s at least five minutes longer than they needed to get down here and take them out. I needed the dryer. All the other dryers were still spinning, the next one to finish wouldn’t be done for another thirty minutes.
It was one in the morning and it takes an hour for the dryer to get done, that put me getting to bed around two. I‘ll wait five more minutes, I told myself, then I’ll take them out. I stood up and walked over to the machines; I pulled the washer door open, my clothes sat inside, dripping wet. I crouched down and pulled the closest piece of clothing out and examined it. I couldn’t hang a towel up to dry. I stuffed it back inside before standing up.
I took a small step back and took a longing look at the finished dryer, then I took a step forward and stopped, I can’t do it. I’d just feel rude. But, I reminded myself, the sign by the door says that after ten minutes you can take the clothes out. I took another step towards the dryer, then glanced at the door. I felt like a burglar about to be caught. I opened the dryer door when I reached it. The clothes had been just sitting in the dryer for so long that they weren’t even warm anymore. I pulled out a pair of jeans and set them on the counter beside me. Next a shirt. Then underwear.
I was about to pull something else out when I heard footsteps coming down the hall outside. Whoever it was must have been on their phone because they stop just outside the laundry room door and continue talking. I panicked and started shoving everything on the counter back into the dryer, I heard the person outside end their phone conversation and I gave up and shut the dryer door quickly. I froze for a moment, trying to decide what to do. Just as I had made up my mind to make a run for it, in comes my roommate.
“Hey!” She says, then she cocked her head to the side, “Why are you holding my underwear?” My eyes follow her gaze to see my hand, clutched around a pair of bright pink underwear. I must have grabbed them in my haste to shove everything back inside.
“I found them… on the floor.” I held them out to her. She sighed and gestured to the machines. “There are never any washers open!”
I was confused, “You just washed your clothes?”
“Oh, no, I came down here earlier to put them in the washer and there weren’t any open, so I stuffed them in the dryer until there was one.”