New Arrival – Mickey Collins

Was that my door I heard? I slowly rose and crawled to my door. Who was this new arrival at my door? I wasn’t expecting guests. Surely if any friends were going to stop by they would have phoned ahead. Did I pay the phone bill?

If I press my ear against the door, perhaps I could hear who was on the other side. I wait, but don’t hear anything. My door is too thick. The locks, too many.

I move myself under the window, surreptitiously. It takes me an entire minute to raise my hand to the curtain, and another to slowly pull it aside. So slow that any movement seen from outside would be imperceptible. I hope. 

When I was younger I lived in a house with windows on all sides. From the living room you could see the front door and they could see you. There was no hope for you if someone wanted to sell you something, like religion or cookies. There was no pretending you weren’t in.

From my vantage point I can just barely see the blue sky that is beyond my front door. The view is uninterrupted. Meaning no one is at the door. Or maybe the person is too short for me to see?

I slide my back down the wall after easing the curtain closed again. Back at the door, I raise up until I’m just to the left of the peephole. If I move my eye quickly enough past it, I may be able to see outside and peer down at my uninvited, short-of-stature intruder without them seeing how the light changes through it. I hold my breath and jerk my neck to the right. Nothing. It was a blur. If I were to try again, I would risk alerting them to my presence. 

I curse myself that it has come to this. I gently grab hold of the top-most lock with my thumb and index finger. I push into the door to soften the lock’s turning. Once complete, I move onto the chain lock and glide it without pushing or pulling too hard. I’m reminded to get more WD-40. Finally comes the deadbolt, a point of no return. Once it is unlocked there is nothing between my safety and the outside world. I push and turn it, the door creaks slightly, but it’s all over now. If my guest had walked away, surely they would be turning back now hearing the door open. My heart races as the sun’s rays fill the room from the growing gap I’ve created.

I shade my eyes with a hand to mitigate the harsh light. I prepare myself for a sudden retreat back inside. I look left, right, up and then down.

No one. On the porch sits a cardboard box. I bend down and slide the box inside, keeping an eye out for any dangers as I do. I shut the door quickly, but quietly, relock one, two, three and set to work opening the box. 

It’s the security camera I ordered. And just in time too. I couldn’t imagine another package like this one just sitting out there for anyone to take. There are too many strangers in the world.

Mickey rights wrongs. Mickey wrongs rites. Mickey writes words, sometimes wrong words but he tries to get it write.

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