No Screen Door

Forty seven dollars just didn't seem right.

Michele had never bought a screen door before, but she didn't imagine it would cost forty seven dollars. It didn't exactly seem like too much, but it also didn't seem like enough. Maybe the circumstances necessitating the new door made her feel cheap, while at the same time made her feel like she should have to pay more than forty seven dollars.


It was Tuesday now, and Michele's house had gone three days without a front door. Sure, she could have closed the storm door, but it was overwhelmingly hot that summer, and it was the heat that had driven her into the fit that culminated with Andrea running full speed through the old screen door in the first place.

Maybe the house was better off without a front door for a while. Besides, having a big gaping hole in her house made Michele feel vulnerable. It made her feel how she felt she should feel. Nervous, guilty, and in danger.


Michele struggled to find the price tag while checking out, struggled to lift the door for the clerk to scan it, and then continued to struggle while pushing the big orange cart out of the hardware store. She could feel the mostly male clientele watching her. They were all wondering what she was going to do with a screen door. She knew that they knew that she didn't know how to hang it, and that no one was going to come help her.

The back left wheel of the cart spun sideways and caught the track in the floor for the automated sliding door as Michele tried wearily to get her screen door through the exit. The cart sent a thunder clap throughout the store and into the parking lot as momentum slammed the its forward wheels down to the ground.

Michele looked down at her receipt as stillness came over her. All she could see were the numbers four and seven ... pulsing ... big, then small ... big, then small.

She began to cry, slumped her shoulders, and continued pushing the cart with her brand new screen door out of the store, past the curb, and into the parking lot. Forty seven dollars just didn't seem right.