Grace could hear the large outer door opening slowly and her entire body began to fill with dread. The world had become quiet, too quiet and she could now hear the slow movement of the large man’s feet as he more shuffled than walked across the floor towards her door. She could simultaneously hear the sound of his hand as it grasped the door knob and see the slow methodical movement as it began to turn and then very slowly open. He then peeked around the corner of the door slowly and she could tell that he was once again the little boy.
“Can I come in?” He asked in his innocent boy voice as if he was worried that he would be denied.
“Yeah, sure you can.” Grace did her best to try to act okay with the little boy and not bring out the angry man inside.
He was holding up another bag from McDonalds in his hand that looked like he had been wadding it up and straightening out for more than a few minutes.
“Do you like sundaes? I have hot fudge and strawberry.” He looked at her needing approval “You can have either one or both I ate one on the way here.” She pictured the scary man acting like a child driving a beat up pickup truck in the drive thru singing along to “Wheels on the Bus” or some equally disturbing children’s song.
“Strawberry sounds good.” She said calculating that he might want the fudge and if she picked it the angry man might come out for vengeance, every move, word or motion must now be thought completely through to assure that side of the man would not reappear.
“Are you gonna want the fudge too?” The little boy asked in a shy voice.
“No you should probably eat it so it doesn’t go to waste.” That made him very happy and he handed her the strawberry and a spoon and then opened the hot fudge and began slurping it straight out of it’s container because the ice creams were more of a cold soup at this point.
“I’m sorry they’re melty.” He said in a tone that signaled that he was sorry.
“It’s okay I actually like Sundaes this way and I like when milk shakes get this way too.” She smiled her beautiful smile at the boy inside the beast and he began to blush a deep shade of red and smiled at her. They continued until the ice creams were all gone and he quietly put the cups back in the bag and said goodbye, this time calmly shutting the door and then leaving out the basement door without slamming it.