He got up off the couch when he heard keys in the lock.
No-one else had keys to his apartment. He wasn't expecting anybody.
(more) His door wasn't locked.
Fact was he came home knowing the compost needed taking out; garbage too. He had indulged in a sit-down - shoes still on. A breather before riding the elevator back down, walking to the bins behind the building, weary because there would be people in the alley ready to sift through his trash.
He didn't usually leave his shoes on once he arrived home. The thought of all the shit he stepped made shoes a violation in his own house. Walking through the city it's all hork, shit, piss, spills. So he sat down for a minute only. Tired but wanting it tidy. The day had already been so long.
First thought was had he ordered food, and the delivery man was being presumptuous. He ordered food lots. Worked weird hours, week days bleeding into Saturdays, clock turning over to show midnight when his colleagues had left long ago, were partway through the sleep that would refresh them in time for the new day that for him was old and forming a crust. New old day.
Second thought (absurd): his mom entering his room, unannounced. Teenagerhood was the last time he had heard the sound of a turning doorknob when he felt himself to be in privacy.
It must be me, coming in. I am just getting home.
He got up off the couch to investigate but his inquiry was halted by the bullet that severed his maxillary artery. He bled out quickly, life leaving him in a hot red rush.
The intruder had expected to find her own home behind the door, and felt justified in her kill. (less)