I have no reason not to answer the door, so I answer the door.
‘Hello, is James in?’
‘No sorry, James is not in. In fact, he’ll never be in because no James lives here.’
It’s 11pm, it’s Wednesday, nothing good on TV. A young British guy giving cooking lessons. A somewhat famous writer of a supposed famous series is buying new shoes. I-dont-remember-his-name is solving some crime case. The doorbell rings again.
‘Hello, is Claudia in?’
‘No sorry, Claudia is not in. Who is Claudia, by the way?’
‘Hem, the blond girl dating Kristian?’
‘Interesting. I don’t know any Claudia dating Kristian. Actually, I don’t know any Kristian.’
I flip channel again, hoping in some cheap laughs before going to bed.The doorbell rings once again. I look at the clock. 11.45pm. Almost midnight.
‘Hello, is Jennifer in?’
I start losing my patience.
‘What is it tonight, Halloween? Why everybody keeps ringing the bell looking for someone who doesnt live here? By the way, no there’s no Jennifer and now fuck off.’
I close the door. What a weird way of ending a Wednesday night. As if having nothing good on TV wasn’t bad enough. Time to go to bed, I tell myself. The doorbell rings again. Silence. They’ll go away, I think and stay motionless by the stairs. Another ring. Silence. A ring, again. It’s my mobile, this time. It’s John.
‘John, thanks God is you, I was almost freaking out ...'
‘I know, darling, I know, all those people looking for strangers, they must have scared you ...’
‘Yes, they did ... But how ... how do you know?’
‘Darling, we need to talk’
‘What do you mean, John? What do we need to talk about? By the way, where are you?’
‘Im in front of your door darling ... open it.’
I hang up the phone and can see my hands trembling of fear. Something weird must be going on outside the main door and it seems I am the only one not aware of it. I walk slowly towards the door. Slowly; as if this time there may be a reason not to open it. But John is out there and I trust him. Usually, I do.
I open the door.
‘Was it you ringing the door just few minutes ago?’
‘Yes, darling. Can I come in?’
‘Sure’, I answer, while investigating his face, his expression, his body language. He looks alright. Awake. Not drunk.
He enters the living room and sits on the big sofa and pulls me down to sit beside him. He looks now a bit confused. He is probably looking for the right words in his head. I can’t resist. It’s passed midnight and I am actually quite asleep. I can’t help it and start asking questions.
‘So, honey, tell me, what’s happening? how did you know about the ringing bell and the people and all ...’
‘You dont remember?’
‘Remember?... what should I remember? I was watching TV, and, you know, it’s Wednesday, there’s nothing on TV ... ‘
‘There’s nothing good on, right?’
‘You’re right honey, there was nothing on TV ... That’s why you drove to my place and picked me up to go for a drink ... and ... ‘
‘Me, driving tonight? ... it’s crazy, I was watching TV .. have you been drinking?’
‘No, darling ... there was another car ... James, Claudia and Jennifer were in it ...’
‘James, Claudia and Jennifer? who are these people? you must be drunk ... I dont know who you are talking about’.
‘We are dead, darling. We are all dead.’
I put my nose forward, closer to his mouth to check if I could spot some alchool or funny smell. Nothing. I pull it back and start laughing. Hysterically.
‘Sure, we are dead. We are sitting here on the sofa, the clock still marks the minutes, we are chatting and we are dead. Yes, darling. Of course.’
John cries a tear. He looks serious now. I don’t laugh anymore. I can’t laugh when he looks so serious.
The home phone rings. I can hear my mum stepping downstairs quickly. She answers the phone. Few minutes go by, till she hungs up and starts crying. I could see her, but she could not see me anymore. It was one of those Wednesday night when there’s nothing good on TV; when there's nothing good at all.