She just kind of popped up on my porch one day.
I had been sitting on the couch, working on a new song when I saw her. She looked around 18, so a little younger than me. She was wearing sweat pants and a faded purple, baggy T-shirt. She had acne all over her face and bright blue eyes that shone through it. Her greasy, blonde hair was short as a boy's and super choppy, like someone had hit it with a weed wacker. Next to her was a beat-up backpack, so full, it looked like it was about to burst open. I kept looking out my window, waiting for her to leave.
After a half an hour I realized that I probably needed to go out and talk to her. In my mind, I repeated what I would say to her—"Excuse me, is there a reason why you're here?"—and checked one more time to see if she had left. But nope—there was no getting out of this. I breathed and then opened the door.
Without even looking my way, she said, "I was wondering when you'd come out."
"Excuse-" I froze before abandoning the plan. "Do I know you?"
She looked at me and grinned. "No. But I know you. Well, as much as one can without actually talking to the other person."
I was too confused to answer.
"It's Tyler, right?" she asked.
"Your name. It's Tyler; isn't it?
"Oh, yeah, that's my name," I said. "How do you know that?"
"I've been watching you," she said. "Don't worry it's not creepy. But even if you do think it's creepy, I don't care. I don't like to base my decisions off of what other people think."
I stared at her.
"You write music. Can I come in and listen to some of it?"
"Um... I don't know... you see-"
But she got up anyway and ran past me into my house. I hurried after her. "Wait! What are you doing?"
I followed her into my living room and found her sitting on the couch, looking up at me expectantly.
At this point, I realized that politeness wasn't going to get me anywhere. So I said, "You need to leave."
She seemed to have gone temporarily deaf.
I tried again. "Please go home."
"I don't have a home."
"You don't have a home?"
"It's just not... part of who I am. I'm a wanderer, an observer. I travel around and meet different people along the way."
I rose my eyebrows. "Seriously?"
She nodded, as if this was a normal way to live. Her eyes shifted to my guitar, and she picked it up, eyeing me with a grin.
"What?" I said. Her stare made me uncomfortable.
"Oh, I was just thinking... you don't like it when other people touch your guitar, do you?" she asked.
I crossed my arms partly because I was mad but mostly because I didn't know what to do with my hands. "No, I don't. How did you know that?" And if you knew that then why did you do it? I wanted to add.
"I saw you cringe when I touched it."
"Oh. Well, please give it to me," I said, sitting next to her with my hand out.
She gave it to me and said, "Play me something!"
I ignored her and set the guitar down on the side farther away from her.
Then she grabbed the paper I had been writing my new song on.
"Hey, don't look at that!" I said. I reached over to try to grab it from her, but she twisted away from me. As I was leaning towards her, I caught a whiff of her body odor and pulled back. She must not have been lying when she said she was homeless.
Her eyes scanned the page as I watched helplessly. "Is this a song you wrote?" she asked. "Will you play it for me?" She handed it back, but the damage was already done.
I really didn't want to play it, but maybe if I did, she'd be satisfied and leave. So I set my guitar on my lap and began to strum my newest song - "You are Mine".
"Baby, you are mine
Everything feels perfect now
You are mine
Nobody can bring me down
I met you and knew you were the one
I can't explain, but being with you sets me free
I'm not sure, but I think it's love
Please just tell me you'll never leave
Baby, you are mine
Everything feels perfect now
You are mine
Nobody can bring me down"
I set down my guitar and wiped my sweaty palms on my shorts. Even though I knew I'd never see her again, I still got nervous playing my music in front of her. I looked up and noticed she was staring out the window. I wondered if she had even been paying attention. That thought relaxed me a little.
"Well, that's all I have so far," I said.
She looked at me and nodded. "Good. You know, I love watching people, but my second favorite thing is art. It's really all the same if you think about it because art is just people putting their heart into something we can see or hear."
I guess she had been paying attention.
She stood up. "Well, now it's time for me to leave."
Yes! My plan worked!
I walked her to the door just to make sure she actually left.
"Bye!" she said.
She was just about to walk out the door when she turned and said, "Oh, by the way, my name's Indigo."
"Noted," I said, tapping my foot on the floor.
"See you tomorrow!"
As soon as she was all the way outside, I slammed the door and leaned against it, relieved. But then my eyes widened as my brain processed what she said. I pulled the door open again to correct her, but she was already gone.