Stranger

I had argued with my friends. They said I was too trusting, allowing a total stranger to let herself into my apartment, use my laptop, and have free reign of all my possessions while I was attending a conference in Chicago. I couldn’t be dissuaded. She was safe, I was convinced. She was good people, I told my classmate who was to hand her my house keys.

Several hours after she had let herself in, the cab dropped me off. I grabbed my hand luggage and headed up my 13 steps, heart beating a tad bit faster with each step. What if she had changed the password on my computer, found out the document that held all my passwords and transferred my measly dollars into her foreign account. I was actively trusting the universe that I was right about this woman.

I put the key in the door. All these thoughts vanished as I  quietly pushed open the door. She lay curled up on the 3-cushion, well-loved, black leather couch I had inherited from Craigslist.  Her spindle-curled locs lay scattered around her head, slightly concealing her face and caressing her cheeks. Both arms were folded at the elbow in a prayer pose, supporting her sleeping head. I had only seen pictures and images from our Skype conversations. I wished she would stir so I could see her beautiful face. Two suitcases stood guard over her sleeping body. Despite all admonitions to pack light, here she was with luggage to last her for a couple months instead of the one-week trial we had agreed upon.

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