I was passing through the front room, heading to the kitchen, when I heard something outside my door. Currently, a TV table and cardboard box with Hefty’s old radiator in it are sitting near the door waiting to be taken away. I figured that the wind might have blown the radiator over again or, better yet, the mail man was leaving something.
I did not expect to find a guy crouched down below the landing wall, hiding behind the radiator. He was blond and stocky and wore a bright blue shirt.
"I’m sorry," he said to me, "but, please, ma’am can I come in? There’s eight or nine guys in the neighborhood looking for me." To say his voice was gravelly and hoarse would be to define understatement.
Now, in the past I’ve occasionally done things that I walked away from and thought, "Yeah, as a woman, that probably wasn’t a good idea." Luckily, I’ve known a lot of good, decent men whom I’ve never had to be afraid of. But this situation was a no-brainer.
"No," I said. I think I managed to avoid saying "uh" before it. I was very thankful for my locked wrought-iron-bars "screen" door.
"Can I just come in for a second? If not, I’ll get out of here."
"No," I said a few more times for emphasis and closed my storm door. And locked it.
I was concerned that he might be desperate enough to come through the bedroom window, which was open with the not-wrough-iron-bar easy-as-pancakes-to-remove screen bared. He didn’t. He moved along as he said he would. I didn’t see where he went because I decided the phone might be a valuable thing to have nearby. When I was sure he was gone, I closed the sliding glass window in the bedroom. Moving it makes a bit of noise and didn’t want to attract attention to it.
He was polite, I’ll give him that.
I’m still a bit rattled with the phone next to me and the window still closed. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve been working my way through old horror films as I’m working on rewrites. Eric can’t get home soon enough.