With each step bringing him closer to the door that held his secrets between the hinges and on the other side of it, hesitance jumped out of the shadows and attacked him. Fear inserted itself into his body, and he turned back to his car to contemplate a swift return to the city in hopes of forgetting the whole thing, but he knew he couldn’t. He couldn’t if he tried because the dark thoughts that’ve trampled him since the incident would barely even let him sleep. Perhaps if he’d been the only person to witness his accident, the paranoia wouldn’t be so malicious in it’s intent to absolve him of clear and concise thoughts. Surely, he wouldn’t be forced to grovel and weep his way out of something that would stay within him until it was he who was a lifeless corpse and not an innocent bystander. But in fact, someone had seen. Images of her eyes, wide and glossy with tears pooling from disbelief and disgust, flashed before his eyes. They screamed loudly, making him squirm and gag for even he couldn’t believe that he was capable of such carelessness. Such disregard for life itself. He took one last glance at the door, shimmering in it’s olive green glory with a wiry brown wreath celebrating the joy of Thanksgiving. He gazed at the happy turkey and the little pilgrims that seemed to be dancing around it, all their faces clad with frozen smiles and black stitched eyes that held not a single emotion or thought. He envied them. He envied the fact that they weren’t burdened with the responsibility of existing. As he turned his back to the house and began to walk away from it, suddenly, the door opened. A bright light cast itself out from the inside and a shadowy figure stood in the doorway.
“I’ve been watching you this whole time.”
Her was voice scratchy and small. She sounded afraid, yet determined to hold her ground. He turned to face her and walked closer. Her cheeks were flushed and rosy, and lips slightly chapped. She fiddled with the red scarf that was bound tightly around her neck. She seemed nervous. He studied her posture, her frame, build, and height. He took a quick look around the area and noticed that they were the only two people out. He could kill her at this very instant by choking and strangling her to death. He imagined his dry hands wrapped her neck, pushing her back into the house and up against the wall as he stared deeply into her eyes while she took her lasts breaths. Except he couldn’t and he wouldn’t. Someone was always watching. He knew that now.
“Listen, I just…” He sighed. “We need to talk about what happened.”
“I don’t think there’s anything to talk about.” She seemed angry.
“Jules, I’m sorry. Okay? I’m sorry it happened and I’m sorry you had to see it. It was all…really fucked up. It was an accident and I hate myself for it. You have to believe that. I don’t know how I’m going to live the rest of my life with this.”
“At least you’ll have a life to live. Did you ever think about that?”
He lowered his head and said, “everyday since the accident.”
They stood in silence feeling their lives exploding around them. Everything seemed to be at a standstill. Simply waiting for one of them to take their next breath, speak their next word. One, drunk night had taken a wrong turn and there was no going back. He could see the fear in her eyes and hear her heart beating too fast. He attempted to reach his hand out to her but she took a step back and scowled.
“You’re a…you…” Tears began to fall freely, but she wiped them away. “You killed him!”
“I know what I did. I’ll never be able to forget it.”
“You asshole! You killed him and you left him!”
“Shhhh! Don’t…you can’t shout things like that. Maybe we can just go inside and talk about this?”
All of a sudden, her face fell. Laughter trickled out of her little by little and then all at once. Her face still wet with tears, she laughed so hard she had to hold on to the doorway to balance herself. Finally, she looked up at him and shook her head slowly.
“I can’t believe you thought I would actually let you get away with this. The police are on their way.”
And with that, she kissed him on the cheek, walked into her home and closed the door. She left him on her stoop, banging on the door violently and awaited the sound of piercing sirens that’s should’ve been heard that night.