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A Maid He Didn’t Have

Up to a few months ago everything had gone along as usual but then things began to happen in and around the house of Philip Lemod, a young business man in his thirties. He was just an average guy as to his build, his looks, his expressions but he was different from the other men in his neighborhood in one way. He wasn’t married.

He had always said, “I won’t get married”. About three months ago, though, the first incident happened. One afternoon it had rained a little before Phil had left for home for work.

“Hey, Lenard, old boy, some boy or girl scout has done their good deed for the day.”

“How is that, Phil?”

“Well yesterday after the rain as I was walking home I got my shoes all muddy so I just left them on the front porch by the door. Sometime today someone has really cleaned and polished them so they shine like they had never shone before. I have heard of scouts doing things to help people but I haven’t seen any around here for such a long time. I just got to thinking that maybe they didn’t do it but I don’t see why anyone else would do it. Did you see anybody come to my house today?”

“I didn’t see anyone around your house today but it’s like you say, it must have been a scout for who else would do it? Do you want me to keep an eye on your house while you are away, Phil?”

“You can if you want to but I don’t think that any more strange things like this will be going on.”

“You are probably right Phil. I’ll see you later, I have got to go help my wife get supper and by the way when are you going to get yourself a women? And please don’t tell me the same thing as always that batching is more fun because you can have your own way.”

That is just what I would tell you, Lenard, my boy.”

Phil was right about there not being any more things happening – for a few days anyway. The next Saturday he didn’t have to work so he decided that he would work in his little garden in back of his house. That Saturday morning before he got started, the telephone rang in Phil Lemond’s home.

“Phil, this is Lenard. Do you want to go fishing with me?”

“I would like to, Leonard, but I was planning to hoe in my garden this morning but this afternoon I am not going to have anything to do so I might go with you then if you waited until then.”

“Phil, how about me coming over and helping you with the hoeing and then we could go a little sooner?”

“Bring your hoe over so we can start” Phil gladly replied.

It was when they met in the garden that they saw the second strange thing had been done.

“Phil, I thought you said you were going to work in your garden. It looks like you should have said, you already had worked in it. It looks great.”

“I just saw that but I didn’t do any of this. Whoever did this sure knew how to use a hoe and knew that I prized these plants. Look how carefully they were when hoeing around them. I don’t think any scouts did this.”

“I think you are right. It must have been some older person because look at this foot print that has been left. I think he tried to cover all the prints but he missed this one.”

“I don’t think that it was a he because that shoe print doesn’t look like a man wore that shoe.”

“You had better look out or you will get hooked before you know it. You already got a girl working for you.”

“You are just teasing me. You probably had your wife come over and do this. Anyway, the work is done so let’s go fishing.”

After this things began to happen more often. Sometime the porch and the short walk were swept, more work in the garden was done, old papers were disposed of, and things from the garden were picked and put on the back porch. As other things were done Phil worried more and more. The mysterious helpers were sure about themselves. They worked when nobody was around to see what was being done. What was puzzling was the little things lying around that now convinced Phil that it was a woman.

“Lenard, this is getting to be more serious. You know the dishes we left after the party last night. Well, I didn’t do them this morning before I left for work but they were done when I came home. Everything was put away, too. Something is up.”

“Phil, I just remembered that my wife said there was someone who was making house calls on your side of the street. She said she just thought it was a sales person going from door to door. She didn’t know if she had knocked at our door or not. She didn’t know if she had stayed on your side of the street or not but she didn’t come to our house. It could have been her.”

“These kind of things have been going on now about every day. I am going to stay home for a couple of days and try to find out who she is.”

The next day Phil walked to the bus stop as usual but only went to the next stop and got off. He circled around and came up to the back of his house and went in. Inside, he waited, looking out a window in the back bedroom wondering what he should do or say if someone would come to the house. He had finished all the dishes, cleaned the kitchen and had straightened all the other room so there was nothing for anyone to do. So what would he say if someone came?

As Phil looked out the window, the unsuspecting woman came into the house as she thought nobody was looking. Phil heard her in the house but stayed hidden just to watch her. Since he had cleaned the house so well she couldn’t find anything to do so she started to leave.

“May I help you?” Phil asked in a quiet voice.

“Oh, I thought you had gone to work. I am sorry you caught me. I hope you didn’t care if I did those things in your garden and around your house. I didn’t take anything.”

“I was just a little worried for fear I wouldn’t get to see the one who was doing all these things and I was curious to see who was playing tricks on me so I just pretended to go to work this morning just so I could catch the one doing the things around the house” Phil responded. ”And I see I have. Why have you been doing all these things anyway and what is your name?” questioned Phil still curious.

“My name is Janice Wilds. I sometimes work as a waitress at the café you sometimes come to. I wanted to know you better so I asked your friend and neighbor, Lenard, about you. He sometimes comes in without you.”

“You mean he knew who was doing those things all this time? Why that so and so. He wouldn’t even tell me.”

“I told him not to tell you” Replied Janice.

“Yes, but why did you do all this?” his curiosity still running rampant. “At the café some girls there bet me I couldn’t get a date with you because you were known never to date anyone, but I took the bet anyway.”

“Well, you don’t have a date yet” replied Phil sternly.

“Not yet but after all those things I did for you, how could you refuse just one?” Janice inquired.

“Alright then, just one.” Phil smiled. “Tonight at 7:00.”

After this one date, they were seen together constantly and finally Phil did what he said he would never do. He got hooked.

By Larry E. Whittington A story I wrote either in High School or College. It has been graded but I can’t tell what year it was written.

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