You’re awoken from your midnight sleep in your favorite chair to your dog barking wildly in the living room. Pulling her aside, you look out the window, only to see a face staring right back at you. Whose is it? Why are they there? (500 words or less/Courtesy of WritersDigest.com)
The Face Outside
“What are you doing here?” I asked with fright.
The man staring right at me from outside my window was my estranged husband, Timothy. We had separated from each other five months ago after I discovered Timothy’s affair with his teaching assistant while on sabbatical from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. We haven’t spoken to each other in months. Why was he here considering I had no intention of ever speaking to him again?
He mouthed incomprehensible words at me. At first, I desired to simply shut the curtain and leave him out there freezing in the crisp, autumn air. But, I didn’t. If I ignored Timothy , he would linger and I wanted to avoid that desperately. So, I calmed Sherlock, my golden retriever he gave me as a birthday gift last year, and opened the door. While annoyed by his presence late in the night, I must admit that I was left breathless by his blue-green eyes and tall stature that managed to wash over me even as I experienced contempt for him.
“Veronica.” He stated.
“Yes?”, I retorted curtly. “What do you want? It’s midnight. You could’ve called.” The sooner he’d explain himself, the quicker he would leave.
“Do you mind if I remove my coat?” Timothy asked.
“Normally, I would mind. But, given that you’re here for a reason, I don’t,” I answered. “You have five minutes.”
He gave a slight grin as he watched me walk over to the black leather loveseat in my living room. “That’s my girl,” he chuckled. “I was beginning to worry that I might have lost my edge over you.”
I assumed he expected a witty wisecrack from me. I did not oblige and looked at him growing impatient by the minute. Finally, reading the awkward silence as a means to not waste any further time, he sat down on the sofa opposite of me and proceeded, “Veronica, in all honesty, I did not mean to startle you. My intention was to call. But, I couldn’t dial the numbers. I had to see you.” All sense of confidence, at that moment, vanished. For once in the time that I’ve known him, tears formed as he spoke. Normally, his English background would have him shy away from displays of sentimentality, even in private. Still cautious of his visit, it would be inhumane of me to remain cold. I lent him my full attention.
He sorrowfully explained that he regretted his actions with his teaching assistant and attributed his rash and obtuse behavior to that of an older man seeking escape from his fleeting youth. What he thought he wanted was never with the girl, but with me.
Timothy expressed. “In that brief moment of watching you peacefully sleeping on the recliner,” he expressed, “I knew I wasted my own time.”
Walking over to him, I hugged him briefly and whispered in his ear, “Yes, you did.”
I escorted him to the door.