It was unusual for Jennifer to get home before her children on a Tuesday. When she opened the front door she was greeted by a strange woman in her underwear coming up from the basement.
“What’re you doin’ here?” accused the strange woman.
The question shocked Jennifer. It took a few seconds before she could muster a reply. “It’s my house,” she muttered.
The strange woman looked around the front hall. “It’s nice.”
“Get out,” demanded Jennifer.
“Why? I’ve been here six weeks and you haven’t said anything before.”
Again, Jennifer was left speechless. “No.”
“Absolutely I have. You just noticed now.”
The strange woman smiled. Jennifer noticed she was missing all but three of her front teeth. “I’ll say this much. Your family spends a lot of time wearing headphones.”
“You can’t hear much when you’re pumpin’ noise directly into your skull, can you?”
The revelation was a slap in the face. She’d never noticed how little time her family actually spent together.
“Between that and knowing your schedule, it’s easy to go unnoticed. I must say you people are like automatons, ‘cept for today that is,” said the strange woman.
“Now you’ll leave, right?” said Jennifer.
“No can do. I’m doin’ what the legal books call adverse possession. Gotta love this public library, eh?”
The strange woman laughed and went back to the basement.