Ordinary Lives- 3

by Somethinger

“Three.”

She nodded.

“Three.”

She opened her eyes and turned to him standing by the window.

“Okay.”

She felt him freeze. She felt things she had no idea she could feel.

“I’ll get the lights.”

He nodded.

“Last year’s must be in the drawer.”

He turned to face her. She shrunk back. A little.

“Say something.”

“I want to be home. I want you to want me to be home.”

The still curtain. Three rays of sunlight on the folded clothes. Other homes, other wives in their kitchen, rankling the utensils for no good reason. A truck with the musical air-horn. Didn’t they ban those? Those and the black, tinted films on windows? The black t-shirt he loved, worn grey now. Folded by the shoulders. The buttons of her dress folded on top of it. Floral. And white. Pressing against the t-shirt. Like the t-shirt and dress were imitating how their owners lay in bed on the rare nights that they did. That they didn’t feel as unloved as right then.

He walked past her examining gaze of everything else.

She heard the door shut. A little less gently. Not as harshly.

She sat still.

When she stood at the window, when the house seemed to digest her, she saw him talking to the 3-year old girl’s father. She watched with her elbows on the sill. He didn’t smile. Through the conversation. The other man, what was his name?- he was engaged in talking. But he stared at the 3-year old. Paying close attention to her as she bent forwards, hands on her knees, looking for something. A cat, maybe. A lost ring. Maybe. She walked about, and his gaze went with her. The father oblivious to his conversation hitting an engaged wall. A wall that walked away this morning. A wall with brown eyes. Brown eyes that were staring back. At her.

He shrugged his shoulders. Said a quick line to the father, who realised his child wasn’t around right then and went searching for her. Before she could make out, he knocked at the door.

She didn’t move at all for the first few seconds. She knew he’d be standing here. His eyes on the door-knob, his body completely still. His hand hanging in anticipation to knock again. Twice. Not as certainly as the first time.

She walked toward the door. He wanted to be home.

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