I stepped out of the truck and gazed around me. Some of the houses were painted and others had aluminum siding. Most were white but there were some that were darker.
Forrest’s place was set about twenty-five feet from the road. I could see houses to the sides and one poking out in the back. Those on the sides were about fifteen feet away. The one in the back may have been a little further. They also had two floors except for the one to the left.
The driveway ran alongside his house and the one on the left. I could see two doors that were side by side on the left lower side of his place.
“The door on the right is the landlady, Guinevere,” Forrest explained, noticing me eyeing the doors.
“And the one on the left goes up to your place?”
“That it does, ma’am. I’ll open the door and let you go up and take a look around while I’m getting your suitcases.” He inserted a key in the door, turned the knob and pushed the door open for me.
With just my large handbag, I stepped into the bottom of the stairwell and looked upward. There was no door up at the top of the stairs. Instead of going up an outside set of stairs to a door, this was set up in reverse. All I could see from down below was a white wall a few feet beyond the stairs.
I went up the stairs, hoping he didn’t have a dog or a cat, another thing I had forgotten to ask him about. I was allergic to cats, and dogs were annoying.
But nothing came barking or meowing at me as I reached the top of the stairs and could begin to see into the place through a railing. At the very top of the stairs, if you turned right, the living room opened in front of you. If you turned left, you entered the kitchen which could also be entered and exited at the other end of the living room on the same wall.
The living room was laid out typically yet simply. A couple of chairs on the wall that divided the kitchen and living room faced a bay window. Under that window was a couch. A TV was on a wall in which the bathroom was behind.
I peered into the kitchen doorway that was further from the stairs and by where a hallway began and could see a back door. Couldn’t see what was beyond it, though, as a pale green curtain hung over the window in it.
Forrest came up behind me with my carry-on and one of my suitcases. “This way.”
I followed him down the hall in which there were a bathroom and the master bedroom to the right and a guest room and laundry room to the left.
He dropped my carry-on on what looked like a large twin bed in the guest room and left the suitcase at the foot of it.
“Back with your other suitcase,” he said as I listened to his heavy footsteps retreat back down the hall.
I surveyed the room and it too, was simple. Just a bed and a dresser with a large TV tray as a makeshift nightstand. Since I didn’t have much, it was all I really needed.
I walked up to the room’s only window and looked through the old-looking yellow curtains. I saw a small backyard below with a dark red stockade fence surrounding it. I could see the upper part of the house in the back and parts of other houses as well. Other than that, I saw no movement or heard any sounds of life.
I stepped away from the window as Forrest returned with my other suitcase, hoping this adventure wouldn’t prove to be a grave mistake.