City Lounge: New York (Book Two, Chapter Five: Lonely Little Man)

Chapter Five: Lonely Little Man:

Lily had just finished up the latest installment of Sophia’s wonderful adventures aboard when there was a knock on the door. The old woman rolled her eyes.

“It never fails,” she muttered.

“Oh,” Naomi said. “Is it him again?”

“Yeah,” her neighbor said. “Who’s getting the door this time?” The three women grimance.

“I went last time,” Maggie said. Lily sighed.

“I’ll get it,” she said. Naomi and Maggie made uncomfortable face as the old lady stood up and opened the door. A black man in his seventies carrying a bottle of liquor in a brown paper bag. His teeth were crooked as he gritted.

“Lily, old friend!” he said. “So nice to see  you again.” Lily rolled her eyes.

“No, Rolo,” she said. “I don’t have any money or booze to give you this week.  Goodbye.” The old lady tried to close the door in the old man’s face, but he grabbed on. He looked at her, frowning.

“Aw, Lily!” Rolo said. “That’s not why I’m here.”

“Then why are you here?” she asked.

“I’m so bored and lonely,” he said.

“Well, I’m sorry you don’t have any friends,” the old woman said. “Goodbye.” She tried to close the door again, but Rolo wouldn’t let go.

“Come on now,” Lily said. “I have guests over. Let go!”

“Ten minutes, please?”

“No!”

“Please?”

“Go away!”

“Just let me in for ten minutes and I’ll leave. I promise!” He tried to push himself into the apartment, but Lily wasn’t having it.

“Do you want me to call the cops?” she asked.

“No, no, no, no!” Rolo said. “Please don’t do that!”

“Then go away!” Lily shouted. Maggie and Naomi kept quiet as they watched. This never failed every week. Rolo only came by their old neighbor’s apartment looking for money or booze. When she never had those things for him, he would try to get inside and hang around until nightfall. Maggie looked over at her friend as she held her breath.

“Talk to me when he leaves,” Naomi said with her eyes. Her black friend nodded once. After about another ten minutes, Rolo finally gave up and left. Lily closed the door and panted.

“Didn’t he used to be wife?” Maggie asked.

Used to be,” Lily said once she got her breath.

“What happened?” the younger black woman asked.

“I think she died or something,” the old lady said. “I don’t really know anymore.” Maggie sneered with a strange look on her face.

“What kind of a woman would marry that guy?” she asked. “She had to be some sort of an old hag with her teeth missing. I bet she was a demon in life.” Lily cut her a sharp glare.

“Watch your mouth, little girl!” she snapped. “His wife wasn’t a demon!”

“She wasn’t?” Naomi asked.

“No!” Lily said. “Any woman would have to be a saint to marry that fool!”

“A saint?” Maggie asked.

“Yeah!” the old woman said. “Can you envision any ordinary woman being married to him?”

“No…” Naomi said.

“Exactly,” Lily said. As if on cue, her cell phone rang.

“Excuse me,” she said. The old woman picked up her phone. “Hello? Ah! Jane, are you one your way home now, darling? Great. We’re going to have to leave the front light on again. Yeah, Rolo came by here. No, he’s gone now. I got him to leave. I’m fine. I’m fine! Ooo, that sounds delicious! Okay, I’ll see you at seven. Love you, bye-bye.” Lily hung up and turned to her guests.

“Jane’s on her way home,” she said. “She’s bringing home coffee and salted caramel ice cream.”

“Mmm!” Maggie said. “Lucky!”

“How’s your wife, by the way?” Naomi asked.

“Good,” Lily said. “They are trying to get her to retire, but she’s just as stubborn as I am. I would be working myself too, but I can’t stand people anymore. You two are fine. You don’t get on my nerves.”

“Thanks… I guess…” Maggie said. Lily snubbed out her cigarette in the silver ashtray on her armchair.

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