“Well, you’re never alone in your house after all.”
Wait, what? Like God is there with me? (What a hokey thing to say.)
“No…” She looked confused. “Like the other person living in your house?”
I live alone. It was my aunt’s place if that’s what you mean, but…
“It’s not what I mean. You seriously never heard that before? That someone else lives in your house?”
No. That’s ridiculous. (And deeply unsettling.)
“Yeah, no house has fewer than two occupants at any given moment.”
What about now, though? I’m out, I’m here.
“Then they have company over.”
She first found this out when her sister had moved into her own place. She walked to the end of the hall, and had a sense that she was about to forget why she was headed that way, but kept walking anyway. When she reached the guest room, she saw a guy who appeared to be in his mid thirties standing in the middle of the room brushing his hair, already beginning to pepper at the sideburns, greying the dark brown.
She screamed; he didn’t appear to know why.
Those moments, she came to be told, when she forgot what she was doing, or zoned out, any unawareness at all, that was when the other homeowner was around.
“We are very inattentive,” she told me, “but so are they. It happens to everyone. Some of us know about them, some of them don’t know about us. Most of them are kind.”
Wait, most of them are kind?
“Well yes. And most of us are, too.”