My afternoon began uneventfully enough. I was standing in the living room ironing, when I heard the upstairs doorbell ring. The family that lives on the second floor is away so when the person switched to an insistent knock, I answered the door.
There, stood a small man dressed in a denim shirt and jeans, both several sizes too large. He smelled of alcohol and asked me repeatedly, “Was I was the woman he met, who told him to come to this house?” I’d never seen him before. I repeated this fact to him several times, but my answer didn’t seem to satisfy him. Feeling frustrated and uneasy, I said goodbye and locked the door.
I also locked the back door and closed the open window in the bedroom. I was home alone, and his intense stare and repeated question spooked me. A few minutes later he returned. He rang my doorbell once, twice and then probably fifteen times in quick succession. This time I didn’t answer. I was locked inside my house and I felt protected from him.
Eventually he left, and I continued with my ironing. That is when the party-wall, that divides my house from my neighbour’s house, began to move. What the hell was that, I thought to myself as I ran towards the back door. It wasn’t my neighbour and his renovations as I initially expected. No, it was an earthquake—a rare event in Toronto.
The stranger at my door caused me to lock the world out of my house and me in. I felt protected. The earthquake, perhaps five minters later, sent me running from my house. I was afraid to be inside. I’m confused. Should I stay or should I go?