Really hoping that it was my Simazon delivery and not this beggar again, I went downstairs, leaving my guests in my attic hoping they weren’t going to touch anything. There were things in that attic which-
Again, the doorbell rang.
“Just a minute!” I called out from the staircase, wondering not for the first time just how my family had managed to get such a big house. I supposed eventually life had to work out for someone – well, until the incident.
I sighed, slightly smiling to myself. I had guests! In my house, and they wanted to be here! They wanted to listen to me! Maybe this was a good sign. I really hoped this was a good sign! Maybe it was time that things changed? I felt like I was so close to finally having that one vital breakthrough, but I didn’t dare get my hopes up. Bad things happened when we dared dream of better things.
Having finally reached my door, I opened it to accept and sign for the delivery. But instead-
It was her again. The beggar who had already come to my house several times. She hadn’t said anything before and I doubted she would say anything today. I had no idea what she wanted. I had given her some money before since that’s what beggars were usually after, but she had come back, even after I had made it clear that I didn’t have any more to give her. Although it must have been difficult to believe for a beggar who stood on the doorstep of one of the most expensive houses in this town.
It was weird. She reminded me of someone. She had done before as well, it was almost like I knew her from somewhere. If I hadn’t known any better I could have thought that…
No. That was impossible. There was no way she could be her! She was nowhere near old enough, she was barely older than I was! She looked a little weather worn, yes, but all beggars did! And besides, she was dead. She had to be, the way her life had spiralled down into that never ending abyss she had torn open!
“What do you want?” I asked, foolishly thinking that maybe today, things would be different. Maybe today was the day she started talking to me.
But she didn’t. She just stood there, staring at me, right into my eyes, like she couldn’t quite believe what she was seeing.
“Do you want more money? I already told you, I’ve got nothing I can give you!”
For a brief moment it looked as if she was going to say something, but I had already decided on talking before she had opened her mouth, and whatever words she might have had for me never left her lips. “Listen, this is my house! Your being here despite me telling you to go away is trespassing! If I ever see you again on my property I will call the police on you! Understood?”
She looked sad, more like an insecure little child than a grown woman. I regretted my words instantly, but I couldn’t take them back now either. I could almost have laughed at myself. All my life the only thing I had wanted was a friend, just the one, and now that finally someone was on my doorstep, obviously wanting something from me, I was turning her away like it was second nature. I felt her sadness mirrored inside me. Maybe I really wasn’t meant to have friends. Or anyone. Besides the few people who were upstairs, in my basement, waiting to hear the rest of my family’s history. And they would leave me, too, once I was done telling them what they had come to hear.
As the beggar turned around and walked away I wanted to stop her, but I couldn’t bring myself to say the words. I watched her walk away, turn left when she reached my fence, and walk away from me. The one friend I could have had, and I had driven her away before I had even known her. I wanted to say something – I wanted to so desperately say something – but the words just didn’t come. What else could I have said, anyway? I had already threatened her with the police.
Sighing, I closed the door behind me and made my way back up the creaking stairs. With every step I took they seemed to complain. Like even they thought that I had been an idiot. But it was too late now. I had people in my house who wanted to hear my family’s tragic history, and I wasn’t going to make them wait any more.