The Stranger At My Door This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My mouth open, I slowly stepped back and closed the door. I was shocked.

A horror movie was on TV and I had been surprised to hear a faint knock at the front door a few minutes before. Annoyed at having to get up from the comfortable couch, I yelled, "Who is it?"

"I am a neighbor. Could you please open the door?" a woman's voice called. Should I open it? I wondered. I felt bad letting the woman wait, so I pulled the door open.

My first impression was that she looked horrible. Her dirty toes poked out of worn-out sandals that were so open that they looked like they were about to talk. Her white dress had all sorts of stains. Her dark skin was ashen and her hair looked as if it had not seen a brush in years.

"Can you help me, please?" she begged.

"Help you with what?" I mumbled.

"My daughter has been feeling sick and I have no money to buy her medicine," she cried.

What is the woman asking? She wants money? From me? Why? Looking at her, I felt sympathy. I decided to help. After a moment, I told her to stay put. I went to my room and found 12 one-dollar bills in my wallet. When I returned, I found her cleaning her dirty sandals with spit.

"I found a little," I said.

"That's enough!" she exclaimed, picking herself up. A mischievous smile spread across her face. "I will pay you back tomorrow, I promise!" she blurted happily.

"Okay," I said, smiling. I felt great. I had just done something good. But as I placed the money in her hands, her mischievous smile turned cruel. Then, like a flash of lightning, she ran off, her laughter echoing behind her.

When I think about it, I feel hurt. I know by her look that she does not plan to pay me back. Yes, I am mad. She probably did not have a job, but she did not have to take from others to get what she wants. Twelve dollars isn't much, but being cheated hurts more than losing the money. I will get over it, but I will never forget this weird experience.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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