He climbed onto the porch, carrying two cloth shopping bags, and pressed the ornate brass doorbell with his thumb.
When the door opened, he said, “I’m Billy, I need to come in.” His abrupt speech startled Administrator Doris, but he had pleasant features and smiled as he spoke. “I asked the guy at the Mobil station where the dying place was, and he sent me here.”
Doris wasn’t sure about this one. “And you’re dying?” She asked him quietly.
“Sure, of it.”
“Billy, our clients come to us through a doctor’s referral. Have you been referred by a doctor?”
“Just the guy at the Mobil station.”
“Billy, I don’t believe he’s a doctor.” Doris smiled as she would with anyone who came to the door.
“I didn't say he was. I asked him straight out where people went to die, and he sent me here. Pretty sure of himself.” Billy put one bag on the porch and smiled back as was his way.
Doris wanted to end this. “Billy, you seem like a nice man, a nice healthy man. Not someone who appears imminently near death. However, if you can get a doctor to provide a referral, we could consider your admission.” She thought that would end it.
“I don’t have a doctor. I’m just looking for a place to die, and I was told, this was it. I’ve got money.” He lifted the right-hand bag and offered it.
“That’s nice, and what’s in the other bag?” Doris nodded toward it.
“That’s all my stuff, I travel light.”
Doris had to bring this to a close. She was concerned about Billy’s mental state and was getting worried, only Nurse Sandra was on duty with her. Roy, the maintenance man, had called in sick. “Billy, I must say, no. This is a hospice for terminally ill patients who’ve been referred here by a doctor. You, obviously are not, So, you’ll have to leave. I’m sorry.” She began to shut the door.
Billy extended the bag and said, “You can have the money, I won’t need it?”
“Thank you, no.” Doris closed the door, turned the deadbolt, and put the latch chain in the holder, closed her eyes, and exhaled deeply.
Billy picked up his bags, went down the steps and across the yard to an ornate cast iron garden bench needing paint. He put the money bag at the far end and rummaged through the other bag for his father’s old .32 single-action Colt. Not a big gun, but probably big enough.
It was difficult to explain this to the police. Doris only said that it seemed the man got his wish.