3. Ms. Karen McCluskey
“Eli Scruggs, get down from there”. Eli was surprised to see the widowed Ms. Karen McCluskey. “I just found this note in my mailbox that says you’re retiring. What the hell?” she complained. He climbed down the ladder while he replied, “Yes, ma’am. It’s true”. She wasn’t quite amused. “Now why would you do something stupid like that?”. She took her hand on her hip. Eli seemed serious while looking at Ms. Karen McCluskey. “My doc says I got a bomb ticker and I should take it easy from now on. Well, after I’m done fixing Ms. Mayer’s roof I’m going to Hawaii”. Ms. McCluskey had to swallow that one. She sighed. “Oh, this is very annoying". She continued, “Who’s gonna fix my water heater when it breaks?” she claimed. Eli didn’t worried. “I met this young guy. Very bright, just turned thirty. He’ll take care of ya”. No matter what poor Eli said, Ms. McCluskey had more excuses for him not to retire. “Damnit, Eli. I don’t feel comfortable with strangers in my house. It took ten years to trust you”. A smile was suddenly spread on Eli’s old face. “I know,” he was interrupted by Ms. McCluskey. “There’s always something. They leave tools and nails, you never leave a mess”. He was thankful for a compliment. Then again she blabbed on. “Have you told everyone else you’re leaving?”. While looking for his right tool for Ms. Mayer’s roof he answered in a way that sounded as he were exhausted. “Yes, I have left everyone the same note in their mailbox”.
She was desperate. “But that’s not right, Eli. People wanna say goodbye. Maybe throwing a party or something”. He denied her idea of celebrating his retirement. “Oh no, I prefer leaving quietly, if you know what I mean”. He was calm. “I don’t want a big fuss”. After she realized she couldn’t make him do anything to not retiring, nor celebrating him, she left him with a compliment saying, she would miss him and there wouldn’t be anyone like him. With that Eli Scruggs climbed his ladder for the last time. And once he had finished his last repair, he quietly had a heart attack with any fuss and passed away. Most importantly his screw in his hand fell right down in his toolbox without making any mess.