I opened the door and there: he stood with his hands behind his back.
His face was a lot more serious than I had ever seen before. His lips were tight and he had a frown and dip in his brow. He spoke as if he had finally gotten the courage to do something that had been on his mind that he’d been planning to do. It was all just matter of when.
“What’s up?” he asked-throwing his head back towards the direction his hands hid.
“Nothing. What’s up?” I replied-standing at the doorway to my apartment that I’d usually invite him into.
This time however, I didn’t invite him.
This time, he didn’t call to say he was coming through.
This time, it was late at night and he showed up at my door unannounced after I buzzed him in to the bottom hallway door.
Something about this time told me he wasn’t there for me to cook him anything to eat, run him some bathwater, take a nap, or bring pints of hot mashed potatoes for my son…he came to kill me yet, I didn’t know it—until I reached my right hand around to reach for his hands where a large, dark-greyish/black machine-looking gun with lots of round holes at the front of the gun greeted me.
He jumped in a militant stance as if he got another jolt of courage to do what he came to do. Something saved my life though-it was my son. He was home on a particular night that usually he’d be away on an overnight respite trip but this particular overnight weekend, it was canceled so he was asleep in his room to the left of where I stood by the doorway entrance to my house.
“Where’s Mashed Potato Man?!” he asked-in a demanding kind of way, still trying hard to keep his composure and physical stance in line with what he made up his mind to do.
I was scared, but considering the fact I was holed in by my door and the only direction to run was in the house or past him-leaving my son in the house and that sure as hell wasn’t going to happen. I felt that if I panicked, he would react with his original plan-even if he only came to scare me, or simply shoot me out of reacting even if he’d only come over after committing a crime elsewhere. Thousands of thoughts rang in my head about what to do and of all things, something told me to remain calm and tend to him without acknowledging the gun.
“What’s the matter Victor?” I asked empathetically-trying hard to save mine and my son’s life.
“What’s wrong?” I repeated several times.
“Mashed Potato Man’s here?” he clarified-but this time, with tears in his voice.
“Yes, he’s in his room asleep,” I assured him.
At that very moment he looked at me with a daydreamy look in his eye-as if the only person he came to take outta here that was in his eye was me, but the fact that my son was home, something clicked in him and he somehow saw my son in my eyes.
He then fell into me with his head into my chest and began to cry. His hands still held onto the steel gun (still) behind his back.
I gently, placed his body onto the steps leading up to my neighbor (“Tanka”)’s large attic apartment in the 5 unit mansion-style house that she, myself, my cousin and her husband and two boys, another neighbor and her husband and daughter + (Lisa-who had her own entrance around back) all lived in.
I so badly wanted to scream up the steps out to Tanka and ask for help…for a witness to my death…to call the police or something…but I knew the slightest knee-jerk reaction I made would send him into fight or flight mode and back to the drawing board: drawing at me.
So still, still…(with his face in my bosom), he broke down and cried.
He placed the gun a few steps above his head and