Shelter

There was a knock on the door and an alert voice asked Mrs Sawyers? Ida waited. Four knocks came through the door. Ida left her sofa and found her way across the wall. She stroked her left palm up the chain bolt, attached it and opened the door. A woman with thick hair that curved perfectly around her skull looked through the small gap.
—Hi, Mrs Sawyers it’s just me.
—Yes?
—We’ve got a call for you if you don’t mind catching it.
—How is it out?
—It’s good. Fine, yeah.
—Okay okay. Just give me a second.
Ida closed the door and walked back along the wall to the the arm of her sofa. The assistant could be heard trying to push on the door. —You know, Mrs Sawyers, you don’t have to put the chain on? It’s only me. Resting her weight on the back of the sofa she picked up the remote with her right hand and turned the monitor off. —I can come in if you like, if you need some help with anything at all.
Ida opened the door to the closeness of the woman’s face. —Alright, I’m ready then. Ida said to the ground. —You don’t need to follow me you know I’m fine going out.
—Of course, only if you need help with anything at all.
—No no I’ll be fine.
—Okay then Mrs Sawyers just shout if you need anything.
The assistant disappeared around a corner, more knocking could be heard.

The heat was the same outside as it was in, white plastic panels blowing the air from the home to her skin, but the morning had been stagnant and she pulled down her sleeves and covered her neck from the light. She held on to the door of the residential entrance that closed slowly with or without the pressure she applied. The phone box was only a dozen or so metres away, the orange text of the occupation status readable from all parts of the home. White power lines lines blown through and waving up the grass, the black dirt underneath smooth, leading to the roof where the few solar panels present in the suburbs reflected a light unbearable to Ida. Somewhere else close along the border huge farms were generating the energy for the rest of life, installation post-restriction. The elderly were given that dignity, not their fault that such things should happen, and memories of enjoying a different kind of life. This place the best place for those in the city to come visit, and those in the suburbs to be consoled by, and for that they should be thankful. The wind hit down the right side of her body despite the walls of the home rising up close. She walked in straight steps.
Each time pulling on the door to the phone box Ida thought she might rip her shoulder out of its socket. The people of the home had never made any special efforts to ease usage, such as installing a shielded walkway or an automatic door, although the handle always felt surprisingly clean. The phone rested on a small metal shelf, the matte black of the phone face down on the chipped black paint of the surface it rested on. The strong smell of piss, the assistant sweating similarly, some returning sense.
—Hello. Hello.
—Hi, is a Mrs Sawyers there?
—Yes.
—Oh great. Could I speak to her please?
—Yes.
—Okay, great.
Ida placed the phone firmly against her ear with her free hand.
—Is she there?
—I’m Mrs Sawyers.
—Oh, okay. I’m calling on behalf of Balham about the tray you have delivered each week.
—I don’t have any trays.
—The tray we deliver once a week with your medication. I’m calling for Balham Chemists.
—I have my own thank you.
—Okay. Is your son or daughter around there, maybe I could speak to them?
—No no, I live on my own here.
—Okay. Well I’m the person who delivers your medication to your home each week. I was wondering if you could tell me when you’re due to start your next set?
—I pick those up on a Monday from downstairs.
—Okay, so you don’t need them immediately then.
—No, I have them for the weekend coming.
—Okay, great. Well unfortunately I’m unable to deliver them today, there’s been a bit of a mix up but I will try to get them to you as soon as possible if you need them.
—I’m fine for now, there’s no reason for you to go out of your way.
—I’m really sorry about this. I might be able to deliver them tomorrow if that’s okay? There was a problem today and I just wasn’t able to.
—No, you needn’t worry.
—Okay, again, I’m really sorry about this Mrs Sawyers.
—Okay then.
—Okay have a nice evening.
—Okay.
Ida placed the phone on the receiver and rested her left hand on the metal shelf. Rested there and looked on. She had never been fond of the woman. She turned on the spot and faced the door, an action that made her feel ridiculous, like one day the exit would disappear. She pushed with both hands and the wind dripped in her ear. Nothing passed.

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