So, he was there standing in the kitchen when I moved into my rented apartment. Seeing me, he ran inside. After the long flight from India, I was too tired. I thought, ‘Let it be, tomorrow I’m going to ask him to leave’. The day after, I searched for him with a jet-lagged pair of eyes and didn’t find him. My jet-lagged brain thought, ‘Good riddance! At least he was courteous enough to leave without being asked to!’
The next time I saw him was when I’d gotten up at night for a quick snack. He stood there for a couple of seconds staring at me with the doughnut in my mouth. I stared back. Aghast. ‘Where does he come from, I thought! Why is he staring at me!’
He ran away that time too. I followed in swift pursuit, clutching my doughnut. I had to scare him away, once and forever. He was nowhere to be found.
I went back to bed. I thought about him all night. ‘Was this a stalker? Did he come every night?’ Worse still, ‘Does he live with me?’
I kept an alarm to wake up the following night and didn’t find him anywhere in the house. I was partly relieved, partly not.
About a month later, I saw him with a friend. Yet again in the kitchen. Yet again at night. ‘Was that a girl he is seeing?’, I thought. I went to my room, leaving them in the darkness, ‘Heck, he doesn’t even pay rent, why would I leave lights on!’ I called up Mom on the phone. Told her about him. She wasn’t pleased. ‘Call someone! Do something! Get out of there!’, she said. I said, ‘OK, Mom, I will’, and hung up. But I couldn’t disturb him when he was with his lover, right? Next time, I thought. Next time.
I kept seeing him and her a couple of times after that episode. We had house rules though. The moment they saw me, they would go out of my sight. And stay that way.
Might sound nuts, but over time, I sort of felt at home with them. And my doughnuts (of course).
And then another day I saw a kid picking at my doughnuts in the refrigerator. I was going to drive him away, quite annoyed, but then it clicked! ‘Oh my! They’ve had a kid!’ I stood there in the corner, peering at the toddler, having so much fun with all the doughnuts. I somehow felt like a grandmother in that moment. I felt warm. I felt fuzzy.
I moved out for a couple of months. The apartment was closed. The company was helping out with the rent. The night I moved back in, I entered into what didn’t feel like my house anymore. I stopped the party midway.
Drove them helter-skelter.
There were about twenty of them and only one of me. I went to bed angry. This was bad. I felt cheated. I felt used. How could he invite over the whole town!?
I woke up to one of them touching my face. I screamed out in horror.
Called pest control.