& occasionally about other things, too...

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

New Writing


Lease - short story published in the Maple Tree Literary Supplement



“I hired a private detective to check your past,” Myrna said.

“You did what?” the wine almost sputtered out of my mouth and I quickly gulped it. I gaped at her, as my jaw dropped.

“I was letting you in my home; I had to take precautions. Nathan – the real estate agent – and Deb agreed.”

I had no idea what to say or to do. Finally, after sitting in a daze for a while, I put down the wine glass and got up to leave. She didn’t stop me. On my way down to the basement, I decided it was time for me to move out, to rent a new place.

Myrna knocked on the door the next morning. She walked in, carrying two mugs in one hand and a kettle in the other, the dog rushed inside, and sniffed at my legs.

“Good morning. Let us have tea together. You left abruptly last night.” She handed me the mug and poured hot tea in it. She seemed flustered, she sat on the only chair in the room, as I walked to the bed. I was groggy and feeling heavy in the head.

“Look, I am sorry.”

I looked at her and took a sip of tea. It instantly cleared my head. “I am curious to know, what did the detective find out?”

“Oh, nothing at all of any consequence.”

“You did find something recently because your attitude changed.”

“Yes, thanks to a huge coincidence. Deb met your stepdaughter’s partner Ruth. She gave you a glowing reference; told her something about how years back you saved their relationship by arguing with your ex not to force your stepdaughter to go to Kitchener.”

I was again gaping at her; speechless and clueless. I sipped tea without talking. Then, I told her that I would be moving out.

“I know you are upset, and I said I am sorry, and I mean it. I will make it up for you.”

I kept quiet. I had to move out. I wanted to ask her but didn’t whether she would have gone through such a vigorous process to ascertain the past of a renter, if that person was white.

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