Every morning, James wakes up at dawn, commands his rusty bones to make their way down to the gigantic kitchen where he meticulously prepares a large breakfast. He arranges the dishes on the tray beautifully, and wheels the cart over to the lift, up to the top floor of the mansion, down the long corridor to the master bedroom door where he pauses. He waits, listening for something. Then, finally, he spins the cart around and wheels it back down the corridor and back downstairs into the kitchen, where he proceeds to calmly eat everything he’s prepared. Half way through, he hears a door opening, paces going down some steps, then finally another, larger door closing. Once the silence returns, he continues to eat the remnants of the huge breakfast.
After cleaning everything up, he does a round of the empty mansion, of the gardens, prepares himself a tea, then retreats to his room to watch some reruns on his black and white television set. Again, he hears the large door opening and he mutes the set. He listens to the paces head back up the stairs, and finally, the master bedroom door shutting behind them. James turns off the set, goes to sleep, and awakes the next morning at dawn to repeat the exact same actions once again, a set of repeated acts many decades long.
He faithfully performs his duties day after day, knowing that sooner or later, he will stop to listen just beyond that door, and instead of the passive silence, a muffled voice will call out to him. He’ll then nervously fix his ancient bow tie, take the deepest breath his tired lungs will allow, and turn the knob. He’ll wheel the cart inside and excitedly smile, closing the master bedroom door behind him, finally and forever.