you hear a polite knock on the door; the closet door.
I was lying in bed, my blanket thrown haphazardly over my askew legs, with my latest bookstore find clutched between my fingers. Boccherini's "Celebrated Minuet" marched tinnily from the phone on my side table. Classic. I turned another page in "William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily a New Hope," allowing Obi-Wan to continue explaining the secret identity of Luke's father. Had the music not quieted just so, I would not have heard a slight tapping coming from some corner of the room. I assumed it was my brother stumbling around his bedroom in the dark until I heard it again. Slightly louder now, I realized the tapping was coming from the other corner of my room, from my closet. I replaced the leaf-shaped bookmark near the top of the page: line 27, where I had been interrupted. I looked toward my closet door. It was a rare sight to see it closed in the dim glow of my book light. I pushed myself up and reached for my glasses. Next to them, I found my folding knife and grabbed that as well. I stood up and walked toward the door to flick on my room light. The knocking paused for a beat as I walked toward my closet. I stood outside the white double doors, squared myself, and took a deep breath, flicking open the blade of the knife. I waited for what seemed to be ages before the knocking came again. I quickly reached for the tiny gold knob on my closet door and pulled it open, wielding my short blade.
"Sorry to bother you," a short man wearing a wrinkled blue apron said hastily, as I stumbled backward into my desk. "I'm here with the Alberta Disability Fund. We are a non-profit organization that raises money for those in need," he continued unabashedly. I pushed myself upward, twisting the part of my spine that hit the edge of the desk. "We help those who, for whatever reason, are unable to get the support they need from the government healthcare service." He pulled out a small clipboard from his apron. "This is Aaron. He is eight years old and in a wheelchair. He needs a wheelchair lift for his house, but the government has decided that it's a luxury not a necessity. We're going door to door to raise money to get him the wheelchair lift he needs for-"
"Excuse me," I finally found my voice, which was more broken than usual. "What are you doing?"
"Well," the man's tone didn't change. "We're going door to door to raise money for Aaron (He is eight years old.) so that he can get a wheelchair lift for his house which the government-"
"Hold up," I held up my hand to interrupt him. "You're going door to door?"
"Yes sir," the man continued on monotonously. "We only go door to door when we have a fundraiser. Currently we're looking for funds for Aaron: he is eight years old-"
"So, what are you doing here?" I asked, trying to stay away from confused, and more toward concerned.
"Like I said, we are going door to door."
"But this isn't a door," I cautioned.
"We don't usually do this unless we have someone to help out," the man showed no signs of slowing down. He showed no signs of anything at all. "At this time, we are helping out Aaron. He is eight years old and in a wheelchair."
I tried one more approach. "How did you get into my closet?" I asked testily. I remembered that I was holding a knife and decided to remind him of this fact by raising it up toward him.
"Sir," he said with unnerving serenity, "we're just going door to door to collect donations for Aaron. He is-"
"-Eight years old, I get it." I spat, I felt authority rise from the blade I held and poked it toward him menacingly. "How about you just get out of my house."
"Sir," his eyes never left whatever he was looking at a thousand miles behind me. "we're just looking for a small, tax refundable donation. Anything helps us toward our goal of eight thousand dollars to get a wheelchair lift for Aaron. He is eight years old."
"I'm still trying," my voice began to rise. The man fell silent. "To get my head around how you found your way into my closet."
"I'm not sure I understand the question." The glassy look faded from the man's eyes.
"You are inside my bedroom." I emphasized each word individually and punctuated it with another jab with my knife. The man stayed quiet and then slowly looked around the room: my bedroom. After a moment, he looked back to me.
"I'm... I'm sorry for taking your time," he stammered. He replaced the clipboard into his apron and turned away. He pushed aside some shirts and disappeared behind my Indian suit.
"Stupid solicitors," I sighed and heaved my closet door shut. I made my way to the light switch and flicked it angrily. Just as I plopped myself onto my bed, I heard another pounding from the closet door. I groaned and pushed myself out of bed again.
"What is it?" I cried, as I pulled open the sliding door. I was met with the slightly hesitant face of a Domino's Pizza delivery man holding a large, insulated bag.
"Pizza delivery," he said sheepishly. "Large, extra cheese, beef, and onion," he continued as he pulled the white box out and handed it to me. The disdain melted from my face as I received the warm white square.
"How much do I owe you?" I asked.
"You... you paid online," the delivery man said, his eyes darting away.
"Oh." I didn't remember ordering a pizza, let alone paying for one. "Awesome." With that, I slammed the closet door in the man's face.