Trespasser : Part Two
William knocked at the door and smiled politely at the woman who opened it. She was pretty. Messy dark brown hair, brown eyes; she was wearing a robe and holding a Bloody Mary.
“Good morning, Miss. I am sorry to disturb you. I just needed a quick word with Mr. Ryan.”
“What?” She stammered a reply, “Um, he’s not, I mean, now?”
“He should be expecting me,” William said.
She slowly relented and opened the door. William entered and stood respectfully by the entrance.
“You want something to drink?” She offered while closing her robe just a little tighter at the throat. “Coffee or something?”
“No, thank you,” he said with a smile.
“He should be out in a second,” she said. “Have a seat, I guess.” As she spoke, Mr. Ryan came into the room. He, too, was wearing a robe; hair still damp from the shower. Seeing William, he halted in the doorway.
“Patti, go wait in the bedroom,” he said to his lady friend.
“What?” She asked with an annoyed tone. “What the hell, Matty? Who is this guy?”
“Go wait in the bedroom.”
“No,” she continued, “Why don’t you go wait in the bedroom?” She snapped at him and then turned to William, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Bill,” he replied. “Nice to meet you, Patti.”
“Well, Bill, you are obviously NOT supposed to be here, so why don’t you just get the hell out of my house?” She yelled.
“Apologies, Miss. It was my understanding this apartment was leased to Mr. Ryan,” William said.
At that response, Patti began to scream an impressive string of obscenities at William. Just as Mr. Ryan moved forward to intervene, she threw her drink at William. It crashed just behind his ear spewing tomato juice and vodka all over him. Mr. Ryan grabbed his lady friend by the shoulders as she screamed.
“Patti, go in the other room. Now.” Mr. Ryan ordered. The lady obeyed, still quietly cursing as she left. Mr. Ryan shook his head and gave William an uncomfortable shrug, “Sorry about that.”
William nodded in response.
“How did you find me?” Mr. Ryan asked.
“It was not difficult.”
“Does my wife know where I am?”
“I haven’t said anything.”
“But you will, right? That’s why you’re here? You just following me around until you find something to blackmail me with?” Mr. Ryan cycled from enraged to calm in less than two seconds.“Look, Bill, right? You said Bill? I’m Matt,” he began to speak, spun around, paced and then sat down in the closest chair. “Look, I’m not…I checked out that contract, Bill. I ran the numbers. No one could sign that. We can’t afford it. We’d have to downsize at least thirty percent. I already told that other guy, I’m not able to push this through. It’ll never happen. It’s legitimately not possible. That being said, even if I could do it, I wouldn’t sign that thing.”
William ran his arm across his forehead to wipe away a trail of Bloody Mary, but he did not respond.
“Those people need their jobs. They’re good people, neighborhood people that don’t get chances like this, Bill. They can’t find work, most of the time. I built this company for those people. I can’t just destroy that, now.”
“I hear you, Mr. Ryan,” William said, “and I respect your position. I really do. I can arrange a conversation with the decision maker if you would like to plead your case, but I am not him.”
“Would it do any good?” Matt sneered. “You don’t care. I know that. You’re too much of a kid to know what it’s like to build something, to grow a company, to give people work. Do you have any idea how much effort? What it would take to repair? To clean that up?”
“I’ve taken up enough of your time, Mr. Ryan,” William said, “I’ll touch base next week.”
“I’m not doing it.”
As William opened the door to leave, he nodded to the back bedroom, “By the way, too bad I didn’t have a chance to properly meet your lady friend. She seems like fun.”
William made his way home. When he slid the key in the door, he heard his television shut off. As he entered, he began peeling off his Bloody Mary shirt and threw it in a pile near his tiny washing machine.
“Hey,” William heard a small voice from behind him. He turned and saw two little eyes peering at him from his bedroom doorway. The same child in his apartment he had encountered the other day. “What happened?” the boy asked.
“I fell,” he said.
While he was in the shower, he heard the television turn back on, and then quickly off when he was finished. He retrieved an ice pack for his head and noticed the boy was seated underneath his small kitchen table.
William looked at the clock and asked, “How long have you been here?” When the boy did not respond, William rephrased his question to, “Anyone knock at that door since you’ve been here?” The boy shook his head.
William sat down on the couch. He was there for a few minutes before the small voice started again, still from under the table.
“How come you don’t go to work?” the boy asked.
“How come you don’t go to school?” William replied.
“I go to school!” the boy insisted and added, “it’s summer!” William heard the boy slide out from the table. He crept by and sat on the floor next to the bedroom. He still had a few remnants of a swollen lip and a newer mark on his cheek, but the boy did not seem bothered. He sat against the wall, as far from William as possible, and continued, “I just don’t go to Sparks.”
“I don’t know what that is,” William said.
“Are you sure you aren’t gonna tell my mom?”
“I will not.”
“It’s kinda like camp I guess but you don’t go anywhere. Like for summer,” the boy started to play with something he was holding and continued, “I don’t think they should make you do stuff in summer.”
“I told my mom I didn’t want to, but she said I had to, so now, I just like pretend I’m gonna go and when my mom gets on the bus for work, I come back ‘cept I can’t go home cause my brother’s there and he’ll tell.”
“So, you come here,” William acknowledged.
“I went a couple times, but not anymore. I don’t wanna. I never even got in trouble for it. No one knows and I’ve done it six times already!” the boy said smartly. “I betcha I won’t get caught.”
“Everyone gets caught.”
“You’ve already been caught, kid,” William said.
“You said you wouldn’t tell!” the boy accused, “You think I should go, too, don’t you?”
“I don’t think anything,” William shrugged.
“I do not judge you, Trespasser. Your time is your own.”
“Yeah,” the boy said simply. He looked up from his hands and added, “Wanna see what I found by the fence?”
“Yes, I do.”
The boy shifted and approached, “See?”
He held up what looked like an action figure of some sort, slightly scuffed and missing whatever it had been holding; but a good find, nonetheless. Before William had a chance to offer his congratulations, there was a knock at the door and the boy snatched his prize and ran from the room. William could hear yelling behind the door, “Kid, open up!”
Sal, colleague and friend of William, stood swearing at the door. He was slightly smaller than William, and about twenty years older; short black hair, pointy nose; the two had been working together for quite some time. Sal barged in and was talking as he walked to William’s refrigerator.
“Damn it’s hot out there,” he said, “I’m taking your last beer. Wife’s got a mom in Florida. Celebration or some shit, by Disney. I don’t know why you want to know cause I’m not driving my ass to Florida,” Sal paused when he suddenly noticed a small boy standing in the doorway to William’s room, “Ahh, You babysitting?”
“No,” William said. He walked to his front door, unchained, unlocked, and opened it. The boy sprinted through the room and darted out the door.
“What’s with the kid?” Sal asked.
“Lives upstairs. Been sneaking in here. He’s got a girlfriend.”
“Well isn’t that scandalous?” Sal said with a smile.
“I thought so. She is colorful, too. Cursed me up and down, threw her drink at me.”
Sal laughed, “Gotta watch the girlfriends. Show up to talk to a guy and he’s shitting his pants, but the girlfriends? They don’t care, they’ll try and kill ya! I’m telling you, kid, it’s got to where if there’s a girl in the room I just tuck her away in the closet. A girlfriend, huh? Well that takes care of that. He’ll sign and we can do something else. I’m sick of this guy. And what’s with the fuckin’ kid? Ain’t he supposed to be in school?”
“He said he is morally opposed.”
“Everyone is until it starts to sting,” Sal chuckled.
“Feels more like he just doesn’t want to be told what to do,” William said, “And he looks frightened to me.”
“He should be. Ballsy move.”
“He’s afraid of getting caught. Doesn’t want anyone to know.”
“Well of course he doesn’t,” Sal said. “So, what? You just open the door for him when you find him in here?”
“Who? The kid?” William asked and then shrugged, “Sometimes he can’t get out.”
“You don’t care?”
“You don’t care?” Sal repeated.
Sal sat up in his chair and said with bewilderment, “Billy. You’re telling me, that you don’t care there’s some random kid coming in here and hanging out?”
“I don’t really see him that often,” William said.
“Jesus, he’s not a cat,” Sal muttered.
“I’ll go see him next week,” William said, “Iron out the details.”
“Ryan? Good.” Sal set the empty bottle on the table to leave and added, “Look, Billy, I don’t care, do whatever you want, but at least put your shit up, and I mean up,” Sal gestured toward the sky, “You don’t want to have to explain why there’s a dead kid on the floor in here.”
“Yes, Sal. I hear you. He’s not a cat.”