I was six when we came to live to this house. My father had lost his job, and he, my mother and I came to live in this place, the old and big house of my grandmother.
The house was old, damp and with the musty smell of closed rooms that made me dream with ghosts and out of this world creatures that would attack me at the entrance passage when I came into the house or when I went to put out the garbage container
I lived in world old mistery and fantasy and the place helped to it with its sordidness.
I lived long hours at the pavement outdoors, playing with a ball, waiting for some kids to appear and play with me, but nobody ever appeared and I ended by playing by myself muttering to the cats and dogs around, that used to watch my play.
The first day of school, my mother dressed me carefully and I gathered the school things of last year I was feeling sad and walked lonely along the entrance passage, when I heard a door opening, the number 202 and I looked back to see if somebody was at the door, but nobody appeared.
Every day I came from school and walked thru that passage to my apartment, the number of the door number 202 half opened but nobody came out. Anyway, I felt somebody was there watching me.
One morning, when I came back from school I pitched the ball noisily through the passage in the hope that somebody would come out to play with me, the door opened, and a pair of eyes leveled to my height looked at me, I smiled happily, getting nearer the door when this was shut with a bang and I was left without my potential friend inside.
I came back, pitching the ball noisily along the passage when the door half opened and there came out from it a strong smell of the kerosene used for cleaning floors.
Some days went by, I always pitching the ball in front of it, at last, one day the door half opened and shut after I passed.
One day, I passed walking quietly, the door was half opened and I looked through it, there were those eyes looking at me, there were viscous eyes, and there felt over them a patch of thin yellow hair and a piece of dry, yellow skin that looked like a piece of parchment, resembling a face, I was afraid and made as if I had seen nothing and walked to the pavement to play as usual.
Time passed, I got to my seventh birthday and gave a party for my school mates and cousins, I bid good bye to the last of my friends, so I walked back to the apartment and when I went in front of the door, it was open and I heard the voice of a woman that said “How many times y must tell you to shut the door!”, and there was the familiar odour of kerosene for the floor.
Some few years passed. One day, as I was coming back with my mother, we say an ambulance where they were loading a small black nylon bag more or less my size. Mother passed without looking and squeezed my hand to hurry up.
I felt relieved and anguished at the same time. Relieved, because I used to dream with those viscous eyes and those dry little hands that opened and shut the door, and anguish because something unknown hindered me to go further that time.
I inherited my grandmother house, and actually I live there with my wife and son. The strong kerosene smell has been replaced by the sweet odour of ceramic wax. My son has the same age as I was when we came here and walks the same passage, and I swear that, without having to tell him anything, I hear him pitching the ball noisily in front of the door number 202, and I close myself in the apartment, so as not to hear open and shut the number 202 door.
(short stories, “17 SIMPLES STORIES” )