Nobody in the little town knew why Sofie, the old spinster, always had a mysterious smile on her lips. As long as people remembered, they had seen her walking between her apartment and the grocery store, constantly alone, wearing the same coat and the same smile. The reason for her satisfaction was kept in darkness since she never spoke to anyone.
The truth was that Sofie had a secret love. But not a man: as she had turned older, her apartment had become her passion. In her mind, it was her beloved friend, someone who made her intensely happy.
The old lady left home only when it was necessary, always to return immediately. Once back, she would share her thoughts with her house. The walls and the furniture would listen patiently and attentively. Sometimes, like lovers do for their sweet-hearts, she would bring gifts. Sofie´s presents had included a luxurious knife set for her kitchen, a mahogany chest for the hall, and art work for the living-room.
Her eccentricity wouldn’t have caused any trouble if a neighbor woman, Mrs Taylor, hadn’t discovered that she was out of eggs one Sunday morning. It was her husband’s birthday, and she knocked on her closest neighbor’s door.
When she came inside and saw Sofie’s exquisite apartment, Mrs Taylor’s enthusiasm was overwhelming. Repeatedly, she exclaimed, “Oh, how beautiful!” and “I love it!” Sofie first smiled approvingly, then became suspicious and finally fearful. She panicked, and started to see a rival in her neighbor; somebody who was flirting with her beloved partner.
Suspecting nothing, Mrs Taylor continued her tour into the kitchen. When she cried, “I could die for this apartment!” something snapped in Sofie’s mind. She was overcome by sheer terror.
Mrs Taylor’s husband didn’t get his birthday cake that day. In fact, he never saw his wife again. Nobody did.
After some time’s pandemonium, everything returned to normal in the little town. Two things changed, however. Sofie would never again allow anybody to step over her threshold. And the stray dogs in her neighborhood were fatter than before.