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235 of 365

“I am not a terrorist,” he said repeatedly.

“But my insurance doesn’t cover a terrorist attack!” I replied.

“I am not here to kill you,” he said, calmly. He stressed on the you.

He stared at me blankly and didn’t make any sudden moves. I couldn’t shut the door on him. So I stood there stuck in my tracks. He was well built; his large, brown duffel bag must have grenades or a sniper or both. He could have shoved me aside and taken me hostage in my own house. But he didn’t. He kept looking around though. To the right, to the left and behind him. He was scared of something or someone. He looked smart. I always felt terrorists looked vicious. He hardly looked vicious. But he must be a criminal at the very least.

Finally, I let him in.

“How did you know where to come?” I asked as I made us some coffee.

“Everyone knows your place is a safe house,” he replied.

“So, who do you plan to kill in this attack?” I asked.

“Not you,” he said.

I laughed and gave him a mug. I kept a close eye on him as I drained my cup.

“The attic, the guest room, the garage, the living room and even the upstairs bathroom are accounted for. You can have the kitchen floor,” I said and left the room.

“Don’t kill anyone in this house,” I screamed as I shut my room door.

Many years ago, I had encountered a man who was falsely accused of murder. His neighbour had done the deed and blamed him. He hid in my house for two weeks till the police stopped looking for him. They usually got tired of looking for criminals of crimes that don’t have public outrage. Lucky for him that crime didn’t. I hardly knew which one of my visitors are criminals and which are falsely accused. As long as they don’t harm me or each other in the house, I allowed them to stay. There was some honour code among them for no one has died on my watch. I never asked for names or addresses. That way, I could stay clean. No one stayed for too long, however. They left within a week. I hardly think it suited them to stay in one place for so long. Police would eventually find them that way. Not always were my guests criminals or men wanted by the State. Sometimes they were lost girls or hippies. My doors were open for anyone and I mostly never said no. Except terrorists. Somehow, those fellows creeped me out. Mass murder was just too heinous to tolerate.

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