A few Sunday evenings ago, there was a knock on the door. I should say a knock on the door to my apartment building. I live on the first floor and I can always hear when someone wants that door unlocked to get in.
I pretended not to hear it. In my time living in the building located in Covington, there have been a lot of knocks on that door. I’m not the damn doorman and if they don’t have a key to get in, they probably shouldn’t be there anyway.
But the knocking wasn’t going away. Feeling annoyed, I unlocked my apartment door and went and opened the door to the apartment building.
Standing there was a young woman, probably in her 20’s. She was slim, had pulled back blonde hair and was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
“I’m sorry to bother you,” she said, “but my phone is dead and I need to plug it in and make a call.”
“You want to charge it?” I asked.
“I just need to plug it in to make a call,” she repeated.
I looked at her for a few seconds not knowing what to do.
“I’m your neighbor,” she said. “I just live down the street.”
“OK,” I said. “Come on in.”
She entered my apartment and went looking for an electrical outlet. I told her there was one close to the kitchen table.
“You live alone?” she asked as she plugged her phone in. I said yes, then immediately thought I shouldn’t have said that. What if her real intent was to rob me?
“I’m texting my boyfriend,” she said.
“Wouldn’t it be better to just call him?” I asked.’
“Yeah, probably,” she said.
She kept playing with her phone. What she was doing with it I’m not sure, but I started to feel even more uncomfortable.
Across from the kitchen table is my writing desk. I was sitting there and the woman noticed my cane leaning up against the desk.
“You feeling OK, sugar?” she asked. Now she was sizing me up to see if I was defenseless.
“I’m fine,” I said. “Where’s your boyfriend at?”
“At the bar.”
“I don’t know,” she said. “He’s probably drunk, that’s why he’s not answering the phone.”
She punched in some more numbers on her phone and finally left a message for her boyfriend to call her which he couldn’t really do because her phone wasn’t charged. She didn’t seem to figure this out and I wasn’t about to help her.
“I hope he calls you soon,” I said, getting up from my chair and leading her to the door.
“Thanks for your help, sugar,” she said. As she left, I went back inside my apartment, locked the door and put the chain on. Maybe this exchange with the woman took a total of 10 minutes, but it felt more like an hour.
The reality is I don’t think this woman meant me any harm and the thought of robbing me never crossed her mind. She just needed a little help but why couldn’t she use the electrical outlet in her own home? That’s a question I should have asked.
They say your original thought is always the best. I think the next time I hear a knock on that apartment building door; I’m going to pretend like I’m not home. I’m not proud to say that, but that’s the kind of person I’m turning into.
(Photo from photobucket.com)