Friday, August 04, 2017

The Tenant. Dedicated to all the interesting people I've known.

I was 13 when she came to live with us.  My father had left us, and in order to keep the house, my mom had to rent out our third bedroom.  We advertised in the church bulletin.  We just had the one extra bedroom, but renting that out would bring in just enough cash to cover our expenses.  In just a few weeks, Sonya had moved in.  Just before she unpacked, she asked my mom if she could paint the walls.  She had always wanted a purple room.  My mom said she couldn't.  So Sonya unpacked.  She was pretty nice.  Even though she answered our ad in the church bulletin, I had never seen her before.  She was in her 20s, and she treated me like a little sister.  She drove me to youth group meetings and took me out for ice cream, and on most weekends, we took went shopping or took a trip to the beach or to the mountains.  When Sonya went to see her friends at the pool or the park or the coffee shop, she took me along whenever she could.  My mom got along fine with Sonya, except that sometimes she was really late paying her rent, and sometimes she couldn't pay at all.   She was such a big help with me, though, that my mom didn't really worry about it.  It isn't until now, a full decade later, that I look back and realize how odd and mysterious Sonya was.  Where did she come from?  Who was her family?  What did she do for a living?  She was fun and spunky and lively, but we never really knew how she spent her days.  She was gone all day most days, but she was extremely private when it came to her personal affairs.  Sometimes, she would spend thousands of dollars on her old car, and other times, she couldn't pay her rent.  Sometimes, she'd hint at a boyfriend, and other times, she'd scoff at the idea.  Sonya announced one day that she was leaving.  She gave no reason or explanation, but she was packed and gone in a few days.  We haven't seen her or heard anything about her since.

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