When Mrs. Blair died, no one noticed for a while because they all feared her. Her neighbor, Taylor, was the only one who went into her house and found her body. After seeing her home, he realized several things about her, but it wasn’t until he discovered her diary that her shocking life became clear.
“Mrs. Blair hasn’t been seen in a while. Have you noticed anything from her house?” Taylor asked another neighbor, Mrs. Callaghan, who lived right in front of his house.
Mrs. Blair lived right next door to Taylor, and he always tried to be nice to her, but she never returned his greetings or offers of kindness. She wanted to be left alone, and her all-black clothing intimidated the rest of the quiet neighborhood in Pasadena, California.
No one had ever seen the inside of her house, and some of the kids started rumors that the older woman was a witch. But Taylor knew better. Some people were just introverted and reclusive.
He felt sad for the older woman because no one ever visited her or talked to her. But she went to the market once a week and would often be seen picking up the paper from her porch. Unfortunately, Taylor had not seen her for a while and started to worry about her.
What he discovered inside was almost even more shocking.
“No, I haven’t, but she should be alright. She never leaves the house much, right?” Mrs. Callahan answered, shrugging her shoulders as if their neighbor didn’t matter.
“She leaves once a week and picks up the paper every day. I’m getting a little worried. I just want to know if you had seen her before I go bother her,” Taylor explained.
“Well, she’s not going to invite you in for coffee, but it couldn’t hurt to check on her. Good luck,” Mrs. Callahan said, and they parted ways.
It was time for Taylor to approach the house and check things out himself. He knocked several times, and there was no answer. He started looking through the windows, but it was dark inside, and he couldn’t see anything beyond the curtains. Fearing the worst, he wiggled all the doors until the back door through the kitchen opened, and he entered.
There was a horrible smell coming from somewhere. The air felt heavy, and something crawled down his back. It felt like he shouldn’t be there, and for one second, he wondered about the rumors that Mrs. Blair might be into witchcraft. But he dismissed that immediately and went through the house.
When he finally approached her bedroom, the smell got stronger. Something in his gut told him what he would find inside, but he had to check. He was right and called the police right away.
Sadly, Mrs. Blair had died alone in her bed, and the coroner said she was probably like that for several days. Taylor wanted to return to his house when they took the body away, but he couldn’t.
Had no one called her at all over the last few days? Why was she all alone? He focused on the pictures on her wall. She appeared happy in them, although he had never seen the woman smile. A man and two girls were in some of her photos. They must be her family. But why hadn’t they contacted her all this time? Why was she alone?.
He went back into her bedroom and looked around. There was something under her pillow, and he grabbed it delicately. It was a diary. Luckily, it was not damaged like the rest of her bed. He snuck it out of her home.
“What’s going to happen to her?” he asked the police, hiding the diary as best he could. The officer didn’t notice.
“Well, they’re taking her to the morgue. If no one in her family appears, the state has ways of disposing of the body. Do you know anything about her family?” the officer asked him, and Taylor shook his head, telling them the little he knew about them.
When they left, he went home and opened the diary straight away. What he discovered inside was almost even more shocking. It was filled with many thoughts, worries, and tales of Mrs. Blair’s life. But the most surprising aspect was that he finally realized why the woman was always alone and looked so angry all the time.
According to the diary, her husband, a man she loved dearly, died when their twin girls were still children. And the girls disappeared when they were teenagers. Since then, Mrs. Blair dedicated her life to finding them. She had sold everything to fund the search until she didn’t have much left. At some point, she lost hope and lived an angry existence since then, waiting to die.
Taylor cried his eyes out, feeling horrible for not trying harder to get to know the woman. It wasn’t his fault, but he still felt guilty for not doing something for her every once in a while. But that would change immediately. He would not let the state dispose of the body without a proper sendoff.
He told their neighbors the truth about Mrs. Blair, and they were all as shocked as he was. He asked them to attend the funeral he was planning, and they all showed up, bringing food and helping out. Taylor gave a speech where he vowed to continue Mrs. Blair’s search for her daughters.
For weeks after, Taylor and some of the neighbors did everything they could to find Mrs. Blair’s daughters, and they finally discovered them on Facebook. Taylor made contact with them, they met for coffee, and the ladies revealed what happened.
“We got into a bad crowd when we were young. It was bad. We told our mother to never contact us again and just disappeared from her life. Eventually, we both ended up in prison for trying to steal from a bank. We got out a few years later, but I could never face my mother again,” one of the girls revealed, and Taylor felt sick.
“Your mother never stopped looking for you. You two should’ve done better,” he scolded them and told them where her grave was, encouraging them to at least pay their respects to her. They both agreed, and they went to the cemetery where they lamented how their mother had died.
As next of kin, they were entitled to Mrs. Blair’s house, but they decided to gift it to Taylor, thanking him for being the only person who cared about the older woman. They also didn’t want anything, not even the pictures, because it was too painful for them.
Therefore, Taylor kept them all. Eventually, he expanded his house into the next-door yard, but he kept a picture of the Blairs. “Someone had to remember them when they were at their happiest,” he said after placing the photo on his hallway wall.
What can we learn from this story?
Watch out for your elderly neighbors. It’s not your responsibility but check on your elderly neighbors if you can, especially if you know that no one visits them.
Never judge a book by its cover.
It’s a cliché for a reason. People judged Mrs. Blair for her clothes and attitude, but they didn’t know anything about her painful life.