Short: The Doorman

What is in a smile? Enjoy!


It was the same thing every week. Day in and day out he stood there watching the people in the building come and go. There were all sorts of people who lived in his building. Some small families with young children, some couples who were just starting out on their lives together, older couples who had enjoyed a long life together and had seen there children grow up to be adults with families of their own. They were all nice to him. They always remembering that he was the one that held the door for him with a polite nod, a smile or a kind word. The children were the best of the bunch, some of them were now old enough to leave their parents side, run up to him calling his name, all smiles and giggles and then wrap their tiny arms around his legs or waist.
Then there was the old woman. He only saw her every Sunday morning when she left for church, and then when she came back from running her errands.
She was the exact opposite of the rest of them. When every one else was nice and polite to him, she was rude and spiteful. She never had a nice word for anyone else in the building but all the things she spoke to him were worse still. She complained about everything and managed to find a way to blame him for everything that was wrong with her day. If he failed to hail a cab for her in time she would blame him. If it had snowed the night before and the building maintenance had failed to shovel properly, it was his fault, and he would be told that he should have taken care of it.
She was the only reason he had to hate his job. He had wished that she would just hurry up and kick the bucket already. She had to be in her eighties or nineties and she certainly couldn’t be any younger than that. She had lived enough of a life of making people and it wasn’t like there was going to be anyone who missed her.
He knew that he was not the only one who had problems with the woman. He had heard whispers amongst the tenants that she was a trouble maker for most people as she complained to the property manager about the other tenants, and had even called the police several times on some. He had seen her make some of the children cry with her sharp tongue. Even the building maintenance disliked her.
Today was Sunday, and going to be different. She was not going to be coming down. They were all going to be rid of her and her crankiness. She was not going to darken another person’s day ever again.
A week ago had been the final straw. She had almost growled at one of the tenants daughter for having been laughing at her mother too loudly for the old woman. That night there had been a small meeting of men. They had all talked of how to get the old witch to back off. No one had come up with something that another had not already tried. In the end they all decided it would just be best if she left.
And they all knew that she was far too well off and too in control of her faculties to be convinced to leave. There was no way for them to put her in an old aged home. Then there was the fact that no one had ever seen any family or visitors of any sort come and go into the building for her at least. So there was no one there who would be able to help them talk her into leaving. No the only way for them to get her out was for her to die. Then they would be free of her forever. It had been settled. He was the one to take care of it.
And he had obliged.
It was Sunday and the sun was just starting to rise. Today was going to be different.

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