“How long have you lived here?” he asked.
“Since I was born, I guess, although I went away and was gone for a long, long time and just came back yesterday so I could meet you.”
Certain now that the kid was telling him an elaborate tale, William decided to go along with her story to see where it would lead.
“Why on earth would you want to meet me?” How did you even know I’d be here?”
“I heard my daddy say so; it was important that I meet you.”
William accepted the food the child had placed before him and once again, it proved to be delicious. If she wanted to create a mystery of some kind it was fine with him as long as she kept feeding him such wonderful food.
He tried asking her again why she wanted to meet him.
“I’ll tell you later,” Sally said and walked out the kitchen door and onto the porch.
When William looked a few minutes later, she was gone.
The morning flew by with William thinking more about Sally than he was about electric wires. Even so the wiring was going smoothly. He’d have the basement finished in a couple of days and then he’d be ready to start on the main floor. There were old electrical wires to every room in the house; those circuits all needed replaced with newer and better wiring. Suddenly William found that he wasn’t in a hurry to get the job done as was his usual style. He liked the house and he had to admit that it was nice talking to Sally from time to time and eating the food she provided. The mystery concerning her intrigued him.
He’d gone to look in the room that Sally claimed was hers. Just as he remembered, the room was small with one twin bed in it, a row of stuffed animals on a shelf, a desk and chair. Everything was neat but dusty as if it was never used.
Wherever Sally lived, he decided, it wasn’t here.
That evening after enjoying a good dinner left by his benefactress, reading three chapters of a novel and watching comedy TV, all of which were out of his normal pattern, William stopped by Sally’s room before going to his room in the attic. The door was closed and William knocked on it. No answer. He tried the door and to his surprise found it was locked. He knocked again but no answer. After that he went on to his bed. The next day when he saw Sally, he mentioned the locked door to her as well as her failure to respond to his knock.
“Sometimes I don’t want to be bothered and I lock the door,” she said.
“But you didn’t answer my knock.”
“That’s because I didn’t want to be bothered,” Sally repeated.
They settled into a pattern and before he knew it William had been in the house a week, then two weeks. He was making slow progress on the wiring but for some reason he wasn’t concerned about the delay. It would be at least two more weeks before the Bellars returned.
He continued his curious conversations with Sally whenever she was around, began to find interest in new aspects of life each day, and continued to ponder the mystery of who Sally really was. His days seemed to stretch longer and longer. Time had slowed down to a point where he could relish every minute of it. Sally was somehow the reason, although he had no idea how that could be. After a month he still had wiring to do in the attic. The Bellars would be home soon and he wanted to present a finished product to them. He also had questions for them about one little girl named Sally.