“Oh, hello,” I told the armed masked intruder as he entered my home. “Pleased to meet you. My name’s Eric.”
I extended my hand. Being in the hospitality business, I couldn’t help myself. It’s an old habit, and it takes a lot of effort to go back to behaving like a normal rude person.
“I suppose you want some money,” I said, opening my wallet. “This is all I’ve got. I’m so sorry, but if you need more, may I suggest you return on Friday? That’s when I get paid.”
The robber took the cash, but said nothing. He was shaking.
“Won’t you sit down? I’ll make coffee. I think decaf would be a good idea.”
The robber sat, then stood back up and pointed the gun at me. “Don’t try anything funny,” he said.
“Not at all,” I said. “Do you take cream? Sugar?”
There was an uncomfortably long pause as we stared at each other. I smiled. He lowered the gun and sat.
“Black,” he said as he removed his mask rubbed his temples.
I brought back the coffee. We sat, drank coffee, quietly.
“How’s your day going so far?” I asked.
“Did you ever try to commit a burglary? Or an armed robbery?” The tone of his voice was flat, defeated.
“Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure,” I cheerfully replied. But he looked so glum.
“Cheer up mister…mister—”
“Jared,” he said. “You can call me Jared.”
Well, long story short, we’re roommates now. He’s a decent roommate, but honestly he needs to work harder at it—if he wants to make it in the hospitality business.