He sat in the car three doors down from the house and watched.  It was a misty, drizzly night, and water droplets on his windshield distorted everything he looked at.  There was a light on in the living room, but the curtain was drawn and the shadows that occasionally moved in front of it were not discernible.  Was she  in there?  It was impossible to say.

He looked at his watch, although he really didn’t care what time it was.  He’d been there just over two hours and he was prepared for 24 more.  He had food and bottled water.  He had caffeine pills to fight off sleep.  He’d even made preparations for his bodily functions.  There was no way he was moving from his self-imposed vigil.  Before another day passed he would know. 

A car pulled up directly opposite him and a woman got out.  Holding a three ring binder over her head, she ran to the front door in a house that didn’t concern him.   Still, he watched her as she fumbled in her purse for a key and let herself in.  A moment later the outside light went off.  He turned away.

A light had come on in another part of the house.  Kitchen?  Bathroom?  The living room light stayed on.  Did it indicate another person in the house?  Not necessarily.  His eyes went back and forth between the two windows.  He waited.  A shadow moved by the second window. 

In his pocket his cell phone started humming and vibrating.  He took it out and looked at it.  It was her.  Should he answer it?  She knew he always kept his phone handy; if he didn’t answer, she’d know he was avoiding her.  On the other hand, she might be looking out the window right now, wondering if that was him.  He hesitated, then flipped it open.


“Hi,” she said.  “Where are you?”

Again he hesitated.  He could tell her he was home, and if she didn’t challenge him he’d know she wasn’t.  But if she WAS home…

“Target,” he said.

“Awfully quiet for Target.”

“I’m in the parking lot.”

“Are you coming home after that?”

She must not be home, he thought.  She’s trying to get me to let her know when I will be. 

“I need to get some gas first.”

“Okay.  Well, I might run up to CVS.”

Good one, he thought.  Got yourself covered.  His mind raced.

“Why don’t I stop for you?  I’m already out.”

“Naa.  Girl stuff,” she said.  “You wouldn’t know.”

Out-manuevered.  “Okay,” he said.


“Okay.  Well, see you later.”  She hung up.

He stared at the words: “Call ended.”  Absentmindedly, he pictured her dropping her cell phone in her purse, then looking up.  But at what?   

 And now what should he do?  If everything she was saying was true, she would wonder what was going on when he wasn’t home within an hour.  If he went home now, and she came breezing in 15 minutes later with a CVS bag, what would that prove? 

He stared at the raindrops on his windshield.  They performed a complicated, never-ending dance on the smooth glass.  Through them the world looked crazy–even crazier than it really was.  He sighed and opened the car door.

Stepping out into the drizzle, it responded by becoming a harder rain.  Leaving his door opened, he walked up the middle of the street and stood in front of the house, staring at it.  The light in the second window was now off, but the living room light remained on.  He wondered what to do, wished there was someone who could tell him. 

For a long time he stood in the rain, thinking.  And only getting wetter.