Chapter 3: The man outside my door


"Greta, dear? Is that you?" A frail voice queries as Charlie passes by an old looking bungalow.

It's Mama Freya; the 72-year old Canadian woman who lived just beside Char's apartment. The old lady had a case of Alzheimer's disease and mild diabetes.

Charlie smiles sadly, "No, Mama Freya. It's me, Charlie."

Mama Freya pauses in her chair rocking and smiles brightly, "That's what I said!"

Charlie shakes her head with a giggle. She walks over to the shaky woman and kisses her pasty forehead. Shue grins as Mama Freya coos sluggishly at Charlie.

"I think you look beautiful this morning!"

Apart from chicken broth, the only thing that can hit home, for Mama Freya, is compliments. This'll make her gush like a teenager and reminisce on the good ol' days.

Surely, Charlie does not want to sit around and listen to how men wooed Mama Freya or how she poured cat piss into her ex-best friend's birthday cake. But it feels nice to make another person feel nice in the morning. Even if it's an aging woman who might not even remember this conversation.

"I'm gonna go inside now. I have work in a few hours,"

Mama Freya nods and waves her arm dismissively. Charlie smiles and picks her hand bag she'd dropped on the small picnic table beside the old woman.

Charlie had employed a cab to move her belongings—that had been in Mario's house—down to her house from Dee's place. She places her hand on the dark blue bag on her patio. She sighs.

As she was about to turn the doorknob of her door, Mama Freya's frail and scratchy voice yells, "Greta! My dear!"

Not having the strength to keep correcting her, Charlie smiles, "Yes, Mama Freya?"

"A man was standing outside your apartment few hours ago. He is really huge and looks like an assassin!"

A man?

Charlie frowns.

Maybe Mama Freya mistook her house for Nora's; the emo college girl across the street, that throws insanely loud parties in the night and mid-days.

Charlie knows this can't possibly be true. Mama Freya may be an Alzheimer but she's not dumb and Charlie knows this. But it doesn't make sense though!

Charlie isn't the type that men comes to visit. Even, the only man that visits her is Miguel; the Mexican pizza delivery guy that loves to stay back and talk about his 6-year old son.

"Really? What did he look like?"

"He wore black clothes and black boots! His chest is so wide and bulky! It makes me remember my Joe-Joe, that hunky fellow back in the days, always grin-"

"Okay, Mama Freya! I'll be going in now!"

"Go in and rest now, dear." Mama Freya grins as she resumes rocking herself on the chair. She coughs a fit before hitting her chest slowly.

Charlie pushes her door open, "Are you okay, Mama Freya?"

"Yes. Yes. Go in now! Deal with the assassin!"

"Are you sure?"

"Sure about what?"

Yep. She's fine!

Charlie gives a short wave before she walks into her apartment. Mama Freya is just in her head, as always. Still, her eyes scans her living room and walk-in kitchen. You can never be too safe.

After making sure the house is assassin-proof, Charlie begins cleaning.

Two hours of dancing to High Hopes by Panic! At the disco—on repeat—Charlie was able to clean the house to her satisfaction. The microwave no longer have tiny cobwebs connecting it to the kitchen wall, the bathroom now looked like a human being uses it and her closet no longer looked like a lumberjacked lion's mane.

Charlie groans as she falls on her bed, "Ugh! My arms are about to fall off!"

She can feel the water from her hair soaking the cream colored duvet underneath her. This makes her jump off and into her closet where she pulls off her bath robe and change into her bear-themed pyjamas set.

"Hmm," she hums when she finally settles in her bed. She sighs once again.

She reaches to her nightstand to switch off the light but gasps.

It's snowing.

Tiny flakes of children's giddiness and excited giggles falls at a fast rate, resting on Charlie's vegetable bed. An excited smile appears on her face. But as soon as it comes, it goes.

Charlie would have been sleeping beside Mario, though not cuddling, but the presence of another person would've put her mind at rest immediately. Staying with Dee isn't an option even though she loves it. The black woman has a life to live too.

"Mario isn't worth it." Charlie chants when she feels tears prickling her eyes.

Before leaving Dee's place, the black prodigy had pulled Charlie aside and whispered to her: "Whenever you feel like crying because of that slimy dick bag, just remembered that he's not worth it."

She shuts off the switch and the blue night-light illuminates her room. Tiny stars plasters around the walls of her room. She might be 23 but the night-light stays!

As she was in the journey of sleeping, a loud thump resounds around the house. Charlie jerks up immediately while clutching her duvet close to her chin.

'It's just Nora.'

Charlie shakes her head and places it back slowly on her pillow. As she is about to shut her eyes, she hears another thump. This time, louder.

Charlie whimpers and sits up. She wraps her arm around her knee and rocks herself in hysteria.

'Mama Freya was right! There's an assassin in my house! I'm going to die soon!'

She stands from her bed and opens the door slowly. She makes sure she grabs her phone from the dresser on her way out.

She immediately puts the police on speed dial. If she's eventually smothered to death by this assassin, she needs to make sure that her body will be found.

She tiptoes and lets out shaky breaths once in awhile. Another thump makes Charlie jump five feet in the air. It came from the backyard patio... And she is standing few feet away from the patio door.

A gasp of realization escapes her when she sees a silhouette moving outside. It is like the shape of a moving mountain.

Clutching her phone tightly, she moves closer and twists the door slowly.

'Please, don't make the death hurt!'

Yanking the door open, her mouth drops.

Standing outside her backyard patio is an incredibly tall man covered in a heap of snow.

She screams.

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