Fiction: The Only Visitor

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The milkman was late every day.

Elaine didn’t even know why she bothered saying he was late, except that he promised her every day he would be there at 2:30, but it was almost always closer to three.

Elaine peeked at her front door looking off in the horizon for the milkman’s familiar truck. Nothing. She checked her watch again. 2:52 pm.

She sighed and sat down on her chair. Why was he always late? Didn’t he know how much she needed him? She closed her eyes. She was worn and tired. She wanted sometimes for it to just all be over. This big house was so empty and lonely.

She heard then the familiar rap at the door and sprung up as quick as her old bones could muster. She tried not to look as excited as she was, but put a warm smile on her face as she opened the door.

“Good afternoon Hank.”

“Afternoon, Miss Elaine.” He said with a wide smile on his face. “Do you have any empties for me?”

“I sure do,” Elaine said, beginning to bend down to get them.

“I’ll get them.” Hank jumped in.

Such a gentleman. Elaine thought, smiling at him. “You’re too kind.”

He grabbed the empties and handed her the new bottles of milk. “Now just remember,” he said. “Next week is Thanksgiving so your usual delivery schedule is going to be thrown off. I won’t be here on Thursday.”

“Of course, of course. I’m sure your family will be thrilled to spend time with you.”

“But by the end of the day,” he said with a sly smile. “You know they’ll be begging for relief from my horrible jokes. They try not to roll their eyes, but I see them.”

Elaine smiled. “They just don’t realize how lucky they are.”

Hank looked at his watch. “Well I best be off,” he held out his hand to shake and Elaine took it. “Pleasure doing business with you ma’am.”

“No, the pleasure is all mine.” Elaine said with a smile.

“See you at 2:30. I won’t be late next time.” Hank winked at her before turning and walking down the sidewalk and back to his truck. Elaine stayed there at the door watching until she could no longer see his truck.

She knew he would be late next time. He always was. She closed the door and went back inside, thinking about her own Thanksgiving and how she would spend it just like every other day, with no one around her. She set the bottles on the kitchen counter and one by one began to carefully remove the caps and pour the milk down the sink. She then washed each bottle out and set them gently back in their holder. Now she just had to find a way to pass the time until the next 2:30.

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