Her name was Tilly Bledsoe and she spent her days hiding from the world.
Tilly stayed in her house and only saw the outside world through the white lace curtains on the massive window in her living room. She watched the neighbors go about their days and she tried not to cry. She didn’t want to hide in her house but felt she had no choice. She didn’t want to be alone, but the world gave her no choice.
You see, Tilly Bledsoe was damaged. As Tilly saw it, she was damaged beyond repair. The last time she had been outdoors during the day had been on her 23rd birthday. She had received a gift of money from her Aunt Marie and decided to spend it on new clothes. She had to go out in the daytime because the store is only open then. Tilly could have ordered her clothing online as she normally did, but she wanted to experience the store. She wanted to touch the clothing-see the displays and take in the variety of choices right in front of her. That day had been horrible. That day was 10 years ago and Tilly hadn’t been outdoors in the daytime since.
Oh, she went into her own backyard, but it was hidden from others by an extra high privacy fence and she had no near neighbors in the back. Her land backed to a protected forest, so she had no worries about snooping neighbors there. But she did have concerns about local children being nosey and trying to snoop, so she had the fence built very high.
Tilly would have enjoyed sitting on her front porch in the swing and watching the flowers grow and the cars drive by and she would have enjoyed watching her neighbors go about their business without being hidden behind those curtains. But none of that was possible.
Years ago, Tilly had taken down every mirror in the house and disposed of them. She sometimes wondered what the trash collectors thought when they pulled up the next morning to find all those perfectly good mirrors sitting by the curb. They probably thought what she was certain everyone else thought…there was a crazy woman who lived in that old house.
But Tilly was not crazy. Tilly was just-different. She was suffering and no one knew and no one cared.
As far as she knew, Tilly had no remaining relatives. She had been an only child and there had never been many in her family to begin with. Aunt Marie had passed away 7 years ago and with her passing, Tilly was well and truly alone in the world. She had received a certified letter about 6 months after Aunt Marie’s death with a rather large check. She had inherited her Aunt’s estate. Tilly supposed that was a good thing since she knew the money left to her by her parents wouldn’t last forever. She was able to invest her aunt’s money in such a way as to have a steady income, even if it was modest. So Tilly lived modestly, alone and in complete solitude. That was until that Saturday in December.
She woke that morning with a stuffy nose. Nothing serious, but it was annoying, so Tilly went to the kitchen and brewed tea. She put a bit of honey in the tea and sat in her kitchen to sip it as she read the morning newspaper. It was no different than most other days, when she heard someone on the front porch. She sat stone still even though she could not be seen. She waited. She jumped when there was a knock on the door. She tried to control her breathing. There was another knock and then another. They were not going away.
Tilly went to the door and peeked through the edge of the curtain. There was a young man standing there. He was very handsome, she thought. Why was he there?
“What do you want?” Tilly called through the door.
“You ARE home! Good. Are you Tilly Bledsoe?” He called out in a pleasant voice.
“Why do you want to know?” She questioned.
“Because if you are, I have something for you.”
“What is it? Leave it on the porch.” Tilly was shaking.
“Sorry, Ms Bledsoe, I can’t do that. I have to hand it to you and you have to sign for it.” Such a pleasant voice.
“No.” was all she said. She moved away from the door and hurried back to the kitchen. She sat down and wanted to sip her tea as though nothing was happening, but her hands were shaking. She spilled her tea. She could still hear him out there.
“Ms. Bledsoe, please open the door. It will only take a moment, I promise.” But Tilly didn’t answer. She waited. Moments passed. There were a couple more knocks on the door and then silence.
Carefully, Tilly moved to the door and peeked out. No one was there but there was a note slipped in the door. She didn’t trust that the man had left so she ignored the note. She would get it later…after dark.
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