The Meaning Of

During a discussion about the meaning of life with my friend, we somehow began writing this story. I would write an installment, and then she would, completely making it up as we went. This is the result. Basically, for 70 some years, my friend searches for the grand question and answer to the meaning of life. Finally, after all that time, we come in contact again.

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27. XXVII

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The knocking happened again and again. Was I only imagining that it was getting louder each time? Suddenly, it stopped. I heard the turning of the knob, but it caught. I did remember to lock the door! Oh, thank God. But just as I began to relax, I heard the soft jingle of keys. The relief that had flooded my body turned to ice. Too scared to move or make too much noise, I quickly crouched down beside the toilet. As I heard the door swing open, I grabbed the heaviest object I could find. Unfortunately, it was a plunger. I was afraid that it wouldn't cause that much damage. Time felt suspended as the intruder cautiously made his way into the bathroom. I took a deep breath and jumped out from my hiding spot, plunger raised and ready to strike. "Ahhhhh!" I move my aim just in time to miss the scraggly man in front of me. He had his arms raised to protect his head from my fearsome weapon. I lowered the plunger. It looked to be a hobo. "Who are you?" I asked, generally confused. Noticing how not menacing  my  tone was, he stopped cowering. "The... The question. The question is," he stuttered, "who, who, who are you??" He shook his finger at me. A new light appeared in his eyes. "You know Carmen, don't you?" he asked. I was so bewildered that I answered without thinking, "Yes." He stopped shaking and stood up straight, as though before he was only acting. Perhaps he had been. He spoke without stuttering, "Ah yes. I've been waiting for you." "Um... Really?" I asked, quite frankly a little unnerved. What did this hobo have to do with me? I was meeting way to many people lately, and most of them had not turned out to be very good friends. "Yes. I was sent to help you." I stared at him in silence for a few moments. "Um... Help me?" I so cleverly asked. He nodded. I felt a chill up my spine. I had a feeling of where this was leading to, but I was too discontented by the thought to give it any real consideration. I really hoped my hunch was wrong, although I feared to be proven right yet again. I forced my voice to be steady. "Who sent you?" The hobo paused for a suspenseful second that felt as though it was an eternity. Then he said the name that sent dread straight into my heart. "Carmen Ramirez."

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