By: Stephanie Graham
Eddie Mcnee has a addiction that goes farther than the cigarette in his hand. There are two sides to him. The side everyone sees and the the truth. Eddie grins. He knows he has a secret. But you don't know what that is do you?
Eddie butted out while standing outside the house of his next clients. His wavy black hair blowing in the wind. His heart skipped a beat and his palms sweat it has been a long time since he worked. He walked up the driveway to the door pausing again. This was going to be great. He knocked on the door. A few seconds later the door opened a pretty face greeted him.
She was in her late twenties. Short, Curvy, Long curly brown hair with deep brown eyes. She was wearing a flowered dress showing just enough to make Eddie grin. She smiled at him staring into his eyes. This made him nervous so he looked away.
"You must be Eddie" She said. "I can tell by those piercing blue eyes"
Eddie forced a smile. He hated how young woman found him so attractive. Eddie thought of himself as tall and fat but not attractive. Plus anyone interested in him wanted a commitment. Like to stay faithful? Eddie asked one girl. Eddie wasn't a carving your name in wood kind of guy.
"Look lady I'm just here to clean your house"
Bored with any jobs he could find Eddie decided to create his own business. Called: Eddie's Cleaning Service with the slogan. "We clean everything"
The women nodded still smiling.
"Oh yes right. Thanks again. Usually my grandma clean this place spotless but she's old and dying"
She chuckled softly looking back at her grandma sitting by the window rocking back and forth in her chair. She walked sliently holding back tears.
"I think its all in her head"
Then looked back at Eddie.
"Did anyone you love die?"
Eddie hated this emotion directed conversation. Women always wanted that from him. Eddie forced a smile. Twiddled his thumbs looked down at the concrete then looked up in sadness.
"My grandmother" Eddie smirked.
"Bless her heart" Sounded bitter but heartfelt.
"Used to tell me sanatize this and that" Eddie said moving his hands. With a tilting stupid grin.
The lady nodded her head like she understood but truthfully she didn't have a clue. She looked sympathetic. Eddie hated sympathy. But sometimes it worked for his advantage.
"Is that why you clean?"
Eddie shrugged. There was a lot of reasons why he cleaned for old ladies. He enjoyed their company until the last days. Eddie nodded his head.
"I just LOVE to clean"
Sounding sarcastic but genuine. Eddie smiled. Flowered dress laughed. She thought he was funny, charming and handsame. For the record he doesn't really know him at all.
"Well good. Come inside now"
She led him inside the large two bedroom house. Eddie looked around the house in amazment. His face lit up like a child. He started walking around staring at everything. The portraits of family members, The sofa and the kitchen. It reminded him so much of his grandmothers' house.
"Who are you?"
A snappy voice clued him into reality. Eddie stopped and smiled at her. She is a sick frail lady. Her has lost its natural colour but not its curl. Her eyes are what got his attention. They are suspicious and wide.
"I'm going to clean your house"
The older lady wrinkled her freakled nose. As if the thought of someone besides her cleaning was a disgusting thought.
"Well you better make it spotless"
She took out a sanatizer from her bathrobe pocket. Placed some on her hands. Lathered it all around. Looked up annoyed that she was being watched.
"Got to keep the hands clean"
Eddie grinned. "You sound just like my grandmother"
Thriteen year-old Eddie was covered head to toe in mud from the soccer game. He tried to sneak back in but his grandmother stopped him.
"Don't you take another step until you clean yourself"
Young Eddie just laughed.
"What do you want me to do? Enter your house in my birthday suit?"
His grandmother was shocked and appalled at the moulth on the young. She shook her head.
"How dare you suggest such a vulgar disgusting act?"
She screamed but Eddie just shrugged his shoulders rolling his eyes.
"Your punishment is to sanatize every part of this house"
Eddie sighed in frustration. His grandmother was always making him do things he didn't want to do. He just wanted to have fun. His grandmother took out a sanatizer and applied it to her hands.
Thirty-two year old Eddie grinned with the memory. But the older women didn't look happy.
"Stop daydreaming and get back to work"
Eddie makes a effort to get to know the older ladies he works for. It makes it eaiser to live in a stranger`s house when friendship is involved. Though Eddie isn`t big on the whole female friend thing older females was a exception.
`Time for your pills Annie``
Annie groaned. `I hate taking these stupid things``
Eddie smiled at the grandmother`s brutal honesty.
`Why do you take them then`` Eddie asked curiously.
Annie got a goofy smile onher face and tilted her head slightly.
``I`ll go insane``
Eddie gave her a weird look.
``That`s a joke``
``No that`s the truth``
Eddie gave her a small smile. Good to know. Eddie thought. He placed a drink and her pills in front of her. Annie took her medication while Eddie watched. Though it isn`t in his job description to take care of the house Eddie does anyways.
`So what are you dying of`` Eddie inquired.
Annie rolled her eyes.
`Some stupid disease``
Annie looked around making sure no one was listening the leaned in.
``My granddaughter. thinks its all in my head``
Eddie chuckled. ``Is it``
Annie looked at her pills in disgust. She hated the stupid things. Ever since she started taking them she couldn`t do anything anymore. Even walking outside to the mailbox was difficult. Annie was told she needed to get used to the medication. Well its been five months and Annie isn`t improving.
``Let me tell you that harlot is trying to kill me``
Eddie raised a eyebrow. ``Harlot``
Annie nodded. ``She thinks I don`t notice all the boys she brings home``
Annie laughed. ``She`s even taking a shine to you``
Eddie chuckled nervously. He didn`t plan on this. Someone being attracted to him. Eddie was there to do his job and leave, Not having some young women crushing on him. Eddie ran his hand through his hair.
``For the record I`m not interested``
Annie raised a eyebrow. Staring at him with suspicious eyes.
``Why is that... Are you a homosexual``
Eddie chuckled. Annie spoke his mind. Eddie quickly picked up on that. If she had something to say she would say it to your face. Annie is very blunt. She will ask you a straight out answer without beating around the bush.
After cleaning himself up and sanitizing the whole house. Young Eddie went to his grandmother to see if she wanted him do anything else. She was standing by the window looking out at the neighbor`s daughter. She smiled at her grandson when he approached her.
``Why don`t you talk to the girl next door`` She suggested.
Eddie groaned. He didn`t want to talk to her, Cathy that is. He already knew her from school. She was the most beautiful girl in school. Why would she want to talk to a fat guy like him. They didn`t talk in school. Why should they start.
``For what... Beauty tips
His grandmother shook her head. She was really getting tired of Eddies sarcasm. If she ever spoke like that she would get a slap to the face. Eddie should be grateful she took him in when his parents didn't want him. Eddie was a rebellious child even a nun couldn't handle.
Grandmother: It would be good if you communicated with the other gender
Eddie disagreed. It would be a bad thing. Everytime he saw a women he would have a emotional breakdown. Or just stupidly grin at them with sweaty palms. Then they would take out their sanitation and apply it on his hands and yell...
Grandmother: If your not going to talk to her then sanitize the toilet
His grandmother shook her head then took out a pill bottle from her pocket. Eddie looked at her curiously. She wasnt one for medication.
Young Eddie: New pills *questioning*
She looked up and nodded her head.
Grandmother: Yes. Make sure I take them or I will lose what is left of my sane mind
Both young and old Eddie grinned. Over the years, Eddie has improved his communication skills with women. Without a hour rant how all his issues have to do with his grandmother. Thats good.
Eddie lit a cigarette. Watched Annie from outside. It was time to take her pills. But Eddie had a plan. He heard Annie call but he finished his cigarette first. It was stressful dealing with Annie. She wasn't like his other clients. She was too feisty and stubborn. Not easy to give up. She's dying but she still fights.
After his cigarette he walked back inside the house. Annie was glaring at him.
"Where were you? My medication was due five minutes ago" Annie told him.
Eddie shrugged. "Look those pills are making you worse"
Annie knew it was true.
"As your house cleaner I recommend you don't take them"
Annie thought for a minute, She liked that idea. She chuckled a bit, Then whispered.
"Don't tell Judy"
Eddie grinned. Sealing his lips. The front door opened and Judy walked in. She took off her shoes at the door. Picked up the nearby sanatizer applied it then walked up to her grandma. Annie gave her a cold hearten look. Judy didn't seem to mind. Instead she turned to Eddie and smiled.
"Thanks for taking care of her. Did she take her meds?"
Annie's cold stare turned into a bright smile.
"Nope" Annie said simply.
Judy's eyes winded.
"Why not?" She questioned.
"I didn't take them"
Annie honestly replied. Judy looked shocked and confused. She stared helplessly at Eddie who led her to the kitchen to sit down. He made her a coffee and sat down beside her. Judy watched Annie wondering what was going on in that brain of hers.
"She's getting worse" Eddie told her.
Judy looked at him with concern. Then remembered what he told her. She nodded her head.
"You can tell"
Eddie nodded his head. He has been through this all before. Not just his personal life but his clients too. The older women always needed more help then they let on. Eddie always knew they needed a extra boost.
"You have to take her to the hospital"
Judy sighed. She was afraid it was going to end up this way. She looked at Eddie sadly.
"She's not going to like it"
Eddie shrugged. "Has to be done"
Judy knew Eddie was right. Judy looked at Annie. This wasn't going to be easy. Eddie watched as she walked into the living room. Eddie followed her having a feeling she would need backup. Judy leaned down towards Annie holding her hand.
"Grandma you need to go to the hospital"
Annie crossed her hands over her chest stubbornly. She looked at Eddie with a knowing look. This was what she was talking about when she said Judy wanted her dead. Wanting to send her to the hospital all of a sudden. This only confirmed it.
"Your not in my will you know"
Annie said just to let her know. Judy gave her a weird look. Attempting to feel Annie's forehead but got smacked away.
Feeling a little hurt Judy got up and sanitized her hands. When she was away Annie looked at Eddie. Whispering.
"You see what I mean? She only wants one thing"
Eddie gave her a small smile.
"Don't worry play along and I'll take of you"
Annie hated the idea but went along with it. Judy came back with a serious expression.
"I called the ambulance and there coming to get you"
Annie sat firmly on her rocking chair. Looking at Eddie with a smirk. She would play along. Her grandchild wanted her dead. Fine. Won't she be surprised who all the money goes to? Annie's stare caused Judy to become uneasy.
"I won't go"
Young Eddie could hear his name being yelled from down the street. So could everyone else. They looked at him strangely as he only grinned. He knew why she was yelling. And it wasn't because of his muddy artistic abilities. The short frail women came walking quickly towards him. Eddie didn't budge. Everyone stopped what they were doing to see what was going to happen. When she got close to him she smacked him hard against the face. Many gasped. She held back a lot of anger for a long time and now it was coming out.
"What did you do to them?"
She yelled. Eddie knew what she was talking about. While everyone else stared at her clueless. Eddie held his face grinning. People around him showed him sympathy. This time it worked for his advantage even though he hated it.
"Remember that toilet you asked me to sanitize?" Eddie asked.
His grandmother nodded his head. Eddie grinned.
"Well it has many uses like maybe flushing down pills that are making my grandmother crazy"
She looked at him angrily.
"How dare you! I'm not crazy"
"I told you to go to the hospital and you refused"
"I don't need to"
The doctor of the town heard this and knew something had to be done. He walked over to her.
"Miss you need to go to the hospital"
She shook her head.
"I will not go"
The doctor tried to restrain her but she just yelled at him. He got the strongest women to hold her down so that they could get her on the ambulance. She stared at Eddie with piercing blue eyes. Eddie grinned. Before the doors closed he said.
"See you in the hospital"
Annie ended up in hospital just as Eddie suggested. Judy and him stood outside the door. Judy looked sad while Eddie tried to look sympathetic.
"Does there have to be so many tubes?"
But failing. Eddie hated receiving and dishing out sympathy. It was just the cold hearten person he was sometimes. Judy's deep brown eyes were in sorrow.
"You were right. The doctors said if she would of waited any longer it would be worse"
Eddie gave a smile small. He was always right about these things. Whenever one of his clients would get into a situation like this he would always send them here. Most would be stubborn and unwilling to go. But Annie was the most difficult.
"I'll go check on her"
Eddie told Judy. He went into the room and closed the door. This was the final part of his job description. Annie smiled at him. Eddie smiled back.
"Finally someone I want to see" Annie said brightly.
"Here I am"
Annie stopped smiling and became serious.
"So you know your in my will not that disappointment of a granddaughter"
Eddie nodded his head.
"As you know I'm dying soon" Annie began.
"Could be quicker if you let me take care of you" Eddie interrupted.
Annie looked at him with her suspicious eyes. When she first met him she had a weird feeling about him. But that quickly washed away because of his kindness and charm. But now she had that feeling again.
"What do you mean?" Annie asked.
Eddie held the plug in his hand.
"Just say the word"
Annie thought about it. Despite her smiles she was in great pain. Eddie could help make it quick and simple. Annie liked that thought. She looked at him with a gentle smile. Then nodded her head. Eddie grinned.
Annie gave him a weird look but directed him to the sanitizer in the bathrobe. He took it out and applied it with a grin.
"Got to have clean hands"
Then it was over.
Young Eddie had the whole town worried about his grandmother. Her room was full of teddy bears, chocolates and other junk she would never use. Eddie walked in shocked to see the condition she was in. If she was a superhero she would be "Tube Women" Eddie grinned thinking how cool that would be. He walked up to his grandmother who only frowned at him.
"Pull the plug" She commanded.
Eddie raised an eyebrow.
"Wouldn't that be a form of murder? How dare you suggest such a vulgar disgusting act"
Even in the end Eddie still mocked her this made her really mad.
"Cut the moral crap! You want my money in my death but I left you nothing but my sanitizer"
She wasn't the only one mad. Eddie was so furious he snapped a little on the inside.
"To what? Keep my hands clean?"
Eddie suspected she was going to call him out on his sarcasm but instead she stared at him with a warm smile.
"I know your secret. I'm going to be your first but not your last"
Eddie's eyes winded. He looked her in the eye and knew she was telling the truth. His grandmother always told the truth even if it hurt. Or suddenly make rebellious teen feel remorse?
Eddie had to know.
Chuckling softly she shook her head. There was a lot of reasons how she knew. Many that would shock him if she told him. Eddie wouldn't believe her. To him she was a frail freckled nose old lady. Who made him keep everything clean. She had her reasons.
"No one gets that muddy from a soccer game"
Eddie thought for a moment then it made scene. She wasn't trying to take away his fun by cleaning he was trying to help him. In a weird messed up kind of way. Eddie took one last look at those small piercing eyes. Then looked at the plug. His heart skipped a beat and his palms sweat. His hand shakes. Then it was over.
End Flashback... ***
"My grandmother is dead" Judy cried.
Eddie walked away but took one last look at her. She looked at him. Those eyes. She would never forget them. She looked back at dead Annie then at Eddie. Then she finally understood. But it was too late.
Eddie made a mention of not becoming emotionally involved with grandchildren. Judy's tears were shed alone not with him. Eddie lit a cigarette and walked away. To his grandmother's house where he lived. He opened the mailbox to where a cheque was waiting for him. Eddie grinned a nice amount. He walked into the house full of teddy bears, chocolates and other junk he would never use. He took out a sharp knife from the kitchen and engraved Annie's name on her sanitizer. Then placed it with the others in one of those things he would never use.
Eddie has an addiction that goes farther than the cigarette in his hand. Eddie grins. His grandmother knew his secret. Do you?