Prompt – This year, your character resolves to save money. So, he is intrigued when he sees an online ad offering a free bedroom in a shared apartment. The apartment’s owner explains that s/he is lonely and just wants company. It sounds quite strange, but it could save your character a fortune in rent…
John was happy. His wish was getting fulfilled. He was packing from his dorm room and relocating to Saint Street. It was high time he did that. The room rent was getting too much on his pocket and he wanted some cheap accommodation. It felt like his cry was being answered when someone put a flyer under his door saying someone in Saint Street was renting out rooms at very cheap rates. “I just want company. I am not doing it for money”, the flyer had said, although the said rates were not that low to validate those words. It did strike to him as odd but then who was he to look a gift horse in the mouth.
When he reached Saint Street, it felt slightly isolated to him. The streets were almost empty. There were some people here and there, but that was all. However, it was perfect for him since most of his work used to be from home. So that would mean no disturbance while working. The atmosphere suited him perfectly.
It took him a while to locate the house he was renting. It was almost at the end of the neighborhood. But the house had a homely feel to it. It was small and looked cozy enough. The garden was small enough to let it be unattended for long but nice enough to give a lovely feel to the house. The door was opened by a very old man. But he was smartly dressed in suit, although he looked very close to 90. The man had a warm smile and John felt immediately comfortable.
The times that went by since then were the most pleasurable for John. Mr. Smith was a very warm guy with tremendous worldly knowledge. He had a huge library in his house filled with books of all categories. He used to cook out-of-the-world dishes which John had never tasted before. Although he was used to waking up very early, he used to let John take his time sleeping. Unlike the typical older guys, Mr. Smith never used to crib or give useless advices. Mr. Smith said he had learnt all these dishes from all his travel abroad. John got along with him wonderfully.
Mr. Smith was a widower and was used to living alone for a long time. That was the reason why he was looking for a House Guest. Many people had come before John but somehow they did not last. John always used to wonder why. Mr. Smith was a perfectly wonderful person to live with. But he was thankful he got this opportunity.
One day, John was working in his room and Mr. Smith was in the kitchen working on yet another culinary experiment. A knock came on the door. Thinking that Mr. Smith would be busy and might not hear the knock, John went to open the door. A tired and weary looking salesman was standing by the door. He looked completely exhausted.
“Please Sir, I am a bit lost. I was supposed to reach the city through this route and it seems I might have taken some wrong turn. I have tried every single door to ask for directions, but it seems none of these houses are occupied. I desperately require a glass of water and also the direction to get to the city.”
John felt bad for him. By this time, Mr. Smith had also come to the door and was standing next to John, looking at the salesman. “I am very sorry, Mister, I have no idea how to get to the city. Even I am new to this place and since I work from home, I do not travel much. But maybe Mr. Smith here can help you with it, can you Mr. Smith?”
When John looked at Mr. Smith, he was surprised to see that Mr. Smith was looking at him in a weird way. He was not at all speaking. Curiously, he turned to apologize to the salesman when he found the salesman too, looking at him like he has gone mad.
“Man, who are talking to? There is no one standing next to you…”
Courtesy Teja Main Hoon…Mark Idhar Hai! for giving the brilliant idea to write this one