We had an aluminum storage shed in our back yard. It was used for the lawnmower and yard tools. I didn’t mind cutting the grass as a kid. I would do it without being asked, expecting to be paid for it, of course. A dollar in the 70’s was a lot of money. Trimming the hedges and edging with a weedwacker usually brought in another dollar. One day I tried to get the yard done before it stormed. Luckily I was in the backyard when lightening and thunder started. I hate lightening. I ran with the mower into the shed to get out of the rain. Lightening cracked again so I closed the doors just enough to let in some light. I sat centered in the shed looking at our house through the one inch opening between the doors. The sound of the rain on the aluminum shed relaxed me. That became my favorite sound. As I watched the rain hitting the grass in front of me the curtain moved in the bathroom window. I thought someone had come home while I was cutting the grass. The rain slowed down and I darted towards the house. The bathroom curtain appeared to close as I got nearer to the patio door.
Once inside I go down to my bedroom. I just started smoking. I was around 14 or 15 years old. I wanted to make sure my cigarettes were hidden from my mom. There was a spot inside the closet above the sliding door track. A pack of cigarettes fit perfectly. Running back upstairs I was expecting to find someone. The house was empty except our dog who always hid from me behind the couch. (I’ll say it again, I was so mean to that poor girl.) There was a heavy feeling inside the house, like someone was there, you could feel it. I went back down and grabbed a cigarette and matches. The rain started back up and I ran out to the shed. The doors were closed again, just enough to let the light in. As I smoked the bathroom curtain moved again. It was someone, you could see the outline and slight movements. I slid open the shed doors to get a full view. They moved away from the window. My dad did things like this, he got off on scaring us or just me. I didn’t care if it was him watching. He never thought much of me as I was growing up. So I just sat there with the shed doors open, smoking my cigarette.
Relaxed by the rain, my thoughts stopped. As I sat there looking down, smoking and spitting, nothing going through my head. I looked up towards the house. The kitchen curtains were closed. Not all the way but enough to look through. About the same amount of space I had the shed doors open. Those curtains were always open, pinned back on both sides. I stared into the opening of the curtains and what ever was on the other side, I could feel them staring back.
The rain turned to a sprinkle and I sat there, staring. I didn’t want to go in, I tried to avoid my dad. I felt uncomfortable around him, even to just sit and watch T.V. I felt I would get yelled at for breathing wrong. The grass was wet and I couldn’t finish cutting it. I dug a spot to hide my butt and match and headed towards the house. The kitchen curtains were opened all the way, the way they were always kept. Opening the sliding glass door there was silence. Once again, there wasn’t anyone home…