Out the Window - Virginia Vincent
Sarah stood at the window gazing out into the street. The rain plopped heavily onto the sidewalk and splashed into puddles as it fell steadily. She watched as the streaks of water ran down the glass, but she didn’t really see it. Her view was turned inward onto thoughts of the past.
She had spent a lot of her life looking out the window. As a child she would press her nose to the glass, squinting into the dark to see when her dad was coming up the sidewalk, finally home from a long day of work. Occasionally a passing car’s headlights flash just right and she could make out his figure plodding up the street, his pace quickening a bit the closer he came to the front door.
When she got a little older and was a young wife, she started watching out the window for her new husband. She would pace in front of the large bay window of their little home, running back to the kitchen when she saw his headlights turning into the driveway. She would pretend she was surprised he was home and that she had gotten so caught up in making dinner that she had lost track of time. Rob, for his part, would pretend he believed her.
She had spent many an afternoon standing at their kitchen window watching little Robbie and Annie playing in the backyard while she washed dishes. They would run back and forth across their little patch of grass, arguing over whose turn it was to throw the ball for the dog. Meanwhile Bruno would be barking and jumping around like he was losing his mind. He just wanted someone to throw the ball. He didn’t care whose turn it was.
She ran a hand over her face, feeling the softness of her old skin worn from her many years of living. She felt the sagging jowls and deep crevices of wrinkles running across her once smooth face. Rob used to tell her how beautiful she was. Even after she had started to get wrinkles and the gray hairs had started replacing her dark brown curls, he still said she was the most beautiful woman he ever saw. She had earned every line and gray hair, he told her, as he pushed her critical hands away so he could look at her. Oh, and the love that shone in his eyes was always enough to make her forget how old she was getting.
Sarah turned abruptly from the window as the door to her little room opened behind her. No knock had preceded the intrusion as the perky little blonde nurse came bouncing into the room.
“It’s time to go down for dinner Mrs. Sanders,” she chirped.
Sarah turned back to the window, ignoring the young girl. The streetlamps twinkled to life as the sun sank below the horizon. The parking lot across the street was cracked and barren and there was not a blade of grass in sight.
There was no more yard for the children to play in, which was just as well, as there weren’t any children left to play there. There was no more husband to watch for, coming home every night. Rob was taken the year after he had finally decided to retire. We’ll have the rest of our lives together now Sarah, my love, he told her. Well, the rest of his life anyway. She had been spending the rest of her life alone. The last 10 years, all alone.
Blondie touched her arm gently and attempted to steer her towards the door.
“You don’t want to miss dinner tonight Mrs. Sanders. We’re having spaghetti,” the girl urged loudly. Sarah looked at the girl and scowled. She was old, she wasn’t deaf. It made her crazy the way people were always yelling at her and treating her as if she were a child. She wasn’t daft.
She knew arguing was useless so she allowed the girl to shuffle her toward the door. As the girl directed her around the corner, Sarah looked back for a moment to the window where the rain was still falling down. The only thing left to watch for now, was the end.
Virginia Vincent lives in Maine with her husband and their 9 children. She works for the State of Maine and writes whenever she can lock herself in a room with her laptop. This is a short story fiction submission.