Stolen

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Stolen, a tale of loss.

I think back to the former days, when I was unquestionably rich. Not the opulence of some, I had no expensive tastes, my one bedroom "four in a block" was sufficient, enough funds behind me to make life comfortable but I could not be thoughtless in my spending, and besides consuming my way to contentment  had never appealed to me. In those days "not to be a bother" was my aim, probably my only aim. A widow of some twenty five years I had a small number of friends but good friends. My family gave me pleasure, and pain, but that is perhaps always the way of it. Always methodical it was satisfying to maintain my ledger, it was pleasing in itself and was an aid in my objective, "not to be a bother".

 

But it was in those days that I first became aware that the thief was starting to stalk me. He was at the shops, he was in the house. I tried so hard to keep him at bay. Lists were a good help, putting things in the same places was another good defence. But the stalker watched me, he seemed to get to know the intimate details of my life gradually and in increasing detail. I had watched him creep up on some of my friends. We all knew he was snooping and stealing from us bit by bit, but nothing could be done. When he was not around, I knew he would be back, and I knew that the Neighbourhood Watch would not prove effective, increasingly I felt alone in this unequal struggle.

 

........................

 

The door bell rang. It was Andrew, I don't remember if he said he was coming or if he had just dropped in. Anyway, he was here, it was very good to see him. The table with the fold up ends, my only table, was strewn with bank statements, household bills, junk mail. My ledger was open, my cheque book was out but nothing had been achieved. I had been trying so hard, it seems for ages, to bring order to these papers but hey had defeated me, and not for the first time. No achievement, growing tension, anxiety and fear had been the only outcome from my fruitless labour. Andrew knew, I knew, that the stalker had been and stolen from me. When Andrew asked if I wanted him to take responsibility from now on for defeating this paper work, I simply said "Yes," "thank you."  So much for not being a bother.

 

................

 

When I moved home they came at first, from time to time anyway. Bob, Edna, Joyce, Hope, a few others, but only a few. They were very welcome, familiar faces in a world that was very, very unfamiliar. To say that these were anxious times does not do it justice. Where did things go? Which drawers for what things? Who were these people? And blow me, the stalker knew I had moved, he still came, and bit by bit he kept taking things. Not much at a time but it was relentless, and of the few things that were mine it was the most precious he stole. It wasn't that long before the familiar faces stopped coming, had the stalker told them not to bother? Had he stolen them too? My family came, and most of the time I recognised them.  Despite the constant skulking about I guarded my Principle, "not to be a bother" the stalker never really got that. Living by the principle I even encouraged my family to stay only for short chats, obviously I was an intrusion into their busy lives.

 

...............

 

I had always been such a private person. Any suggestion of anything "blue" in a comedian’s routine would make me switch off the TV. Even in my married days we slept in separate single beds, but they were in the same room. There had always been standards to upkeep. When years earlier Andrew had been presented with a Bible for good attendance, I had felt ashamed when I learned that he had turned up with mud on his legs.  Privacy, decency, not even they were safe. To be showered by a coloured male, or to find my excrement on my bedroom floor, which was worse? Or perhaps it was worse not to care about either?

 

.............

 

Surely nothing left to steal. It was all gone, house, friends, memory, most of my family, dignity itself.  Utterly, utterly exhausted, alone in my own head he came again and took the last thing, life itself. But by then it was no longer the precious thing it had been, he was welcome to it, it was not worth much, at least not to me.

 

The decent was over, the prolonged theft had run its course. When there was nothing left to take, absolutely nothing, a very familiar voice rang out loud and clear, laughing, welcoming. " I make all things new, I told you I would, and you didn't always believe me. But I said I would, and I have."  I looked around, some of my friends were back, some of my family were back. The stalker himself had been plundered, and it was all back, and how.


Submitted: May 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Andrew Sarcus. All rights reserved.

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