Sometimes They Come Back

For three whole days, I’ve been alone. Don’t feel sorry for me, it’s been quite lovely. I’ve eaten lunch without having to share it. I’ve even turned on the lights in the middle of the night and didn’t have an intruder stare back at me.

This is the kind of aloneness I’ve hoped for since I moved here. I have no company; none at all – but it didn’t come easy.

Susie, the house manager, assured me I wouldn’t be disturbed as she handed me the key. Grateful that I had my own place after divorcing that slob of an ex-husband of mine, I took the shiny brass, picked up my first set of boxes from the foyer, and went upstairs to the tiny, in-law suite I now called home.

I saw this six hundred square feet space as an upgrade from the 2800 square foot prison home I’d shared with Charlie the Cheater. Sure, I’d miss the chef style kitchen, Jacuzzi tub, and the rose garden in the backyard but this is mine.

Although Susie had thoroughly cleaned the place, for good measure I did it again. I don’t know whose germs lived here. I needed to kill as many as I could of what she left behind – the power of pine.

A week passed before I saw my first guest. I was sitting on the floor watching House – I love that show – eating popcorn and drinking grape soda from a turquoise plastic cup when the doorbell rang.

“Who is it?” I yelled through the door as I pushed paused on my remote. Thank God for Tivo.

A familiar voice yelled back, “It’s me. Charlie.”

I’d forgotten that he was coming by to bring my mail. I know I called him a slob but except for the cheating and controlling ways, he really is a sweetheart.

He passed the mail through the door I’d opened and said, “I wasn’t gonna come up when I saw the lights out but figured you were watching television or something. You’re gonna get enough sitting in the dark eating.”

“Whatever, Charlie,” I responded as I grabbed my mail. I said thanks and then he was gone.

Before starting my tape I picked up my cup to gulp down some of the purple drink. To my surprise, a juicy roach with long squirmy tentacles was posted in the other side of the rim starring me eye to eye. When I turned on the lights, I saw that at least thirty roaches had taken over my popcorn bowl.

After screaming at the top of my lungs and nearly puking my guts out, I called Judy and told her she had to do something about the bugs right now. Soon after, her husband, Richard, who happens to be an exterminator, showed up at my door. He sprayed the apartment and placed out some baits.

“Can I ask you a question?” I asked Richard as he walked to the door.

He shrugged. “You’ve asked one; one more won’t hurt.”

“How is that you’re an exterminator but your rental property has roaches?”

Richard pulled off his gloves, placed them in his pocket, and with a wide grin said, “Roaches are like ex-husbands, sometimes they come back.”


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