A thousand thoughts swarmed the inside of my head as I observed visitor's eating manners. The food fell off his fork! Couldn’t he just have used the spoon right in front of him if he couldn't hold the fork still? My lips formed an upside down U for the way he stared at me while he munched every mouthful. Damn! He gobbled lasagna as if he’d die right afterwards. He didn’t appear famished when I opened the door for him minutes before though.
“You know, you could always use the spoon. It scoops up more food and leaves less mess,” I offered.
He glared at me thoughtfully in response. Defiantly embarrassed, he broke the gaze and directed it to my left upper arm which had a white bandage on the front side.
“How is your arm?” he muttered.
“No infection so far.” I had been careful when I redressed the wound that morning; the wound I got when he shot me the previous day.
In a black jersey pair of pants, a yellow silk T-shirt with words “Never Say Die” written across the back and red flipflops, I strolled down the stairs of my basement to get my cleaning tools for the inside of my house was covered in dust. My ears perceived a flurry of activities inside. I assumed rats had taken residence in there while I was away. Touching my left foot on the foot of stairs, I lifted up my gaze, which had been examining the dust on the basement barrister, to fall on a small person facing me.
“Who are you and why are you in my basement?” I asked calmly.
He observed me, as if considering jumping at me or finding a way out in a run.
“Look, you can stare at me all you want but you gotta say something.” I said to him and halfway through those words I approached him. In a flash of a second, his hand moved behind his back and moved back in front as he lifted it up pointing it right me with an object in it.
“Stay back!” he yelled, “Don’t you get any closer!”
“A shotgun?” I threw my hands in the air shaking my head up and down sideways in slight motions and added "Are u kidding me?” with my hands on my hips.
Then I said, “Gimme that!” as I moved towards him but a bullet went threw my arm before you could add "Now!”.
I fell back on my back, I attempted to rise, I leaned on my right arm and I looked up at him. A frown was formed on my forehead and my lips formed a pout.
“Are you insane? You could have killed me.”
“You’re alive, aren’t you? You asked me to say something and I told you not to get closer. You should have said what you meant.”
He wasn’t pointing the shotgun at me anymore, he was just standing there.
“Why the hell are you in my house?” I shouted.
“It was empty when I got here, so I borrowed it for a while.”
The pain shot through my whole body and a sound of agony escaped my lips.
“If you borrowed it, then you know where the first aid kit is. Can you get it, please?” The color of blood was mingling with that of the T-Shirt.
He was back in seconds. He opened the box and took out the scissors.
“What are you doing?” I inquired through gritted teeth.
“Going to remove the bullet,”he said, “My mess, mine to clean up since you look sensible. But I warn you, it’s going to hurt.” He put on rubber gloves.
He continued, “To reduce the pain while I remove the bullet, you need to turn your attention to something else.”
“Asking you questions and hearing your story, perhaps?” I offered.
“Are you a cop?”
“What’s your name?”
“Can’t tell ya.”
“Well, how old are you, Mike"
In that one moment, my heart stopped, I couldn’t breathe and my face felt paralysed. I recovered quickly though.
“You’re 10?” I whispered, “Where are your parents?”
“Would I be here if I had them?” he chuckled bitterly.
“So, why do you have a gun?” I had previously imagined him to be a fifteen year old who wasn’t fed enough, not that it made it right for him to carry a gun.
“To protect myself, of course.”
He looked at me in the eye and said, “There. You’re good to go.”
He had removed the bullet and bandaged my arm. Remarkable!
When se stood to leave, I invited him for lunch the next day without a second thought. There he was. Eating my lunch. And making chuckling sounds, as if to say, "Yeaaaaaah! I shot you lady! Oops!"