He knocked on the door for the third time, he could hear them moving inside, but the curtains were drawn and he couldn’t see. Someone called again from the inside that it would be just a minute, but he had already been out here for almost 20 minutes. Just standing on the steps, wiping his sweaty hands on his jeans, hoping that the sweat stains on his t-shirt didn’t stand out too much.
He had run all the way here, run all the way from home, to her mother’s house. He knew this was where she would come first, she had to be here, he was sure her car was probably parked in the back of the house, in the old garage he had helped her father build over the concrete cistern in the back yard. He was also sure he could kick this door in and there they would be scrambling to hide her, or debating weather or not the let him in.
Debating weather or not he was worthy of seeing his woman. His woman who in leaving him had told him that she was carrying his child. How the hell could she have left him, left him and taken his baby? His baby was supposed to grow up knowing his father, his baby would grow up and his daddy would be there to see it.
He wiped his hands on his jeans again and tried to smooth the wrinkles out of the grey T-shirt he had pulled on, just before he ran over here. Then the door was open and her mother was standing there. Her hard cold mother that he had never really liked, it wasn’t like the old woman ever really liked him.
“She not here, what you want she for?” was all he got in greeting. He didn’t mind, there was not reason to think that today would bring any less animosity. He was sure her daughter had filled her in on her version of the story. He was sure in her mind she was looking at the monster she had always predicted him to be.
“She leff dis fu you. Tek it an’ come off me door step” BAM, the door slammed in his face and there was a slip of paper in his hand. On the outside it only said. “Dear you”
The last place she wanted to be right now, was standing in her old room, in her old space. Standing in the space she had run from, straight into his arms. She didn’t know what had guided her to pull her car into the driveway in front of the crackle stone house, with the Crotons growing almost out of control in the front yard.
The last thing she had wanted to was to listen to the sucking of teeth and the tapping of feet, or look at the scowling face and crossed arms, as she recounted all the incidents she had declined to enclose over the last few years. She hadn’t wanted to admit to the force that had driven her out of this space, that she might have been hasty in leaving, or in landing in the destination she had. She had not wanted to sit under the judgement. She had not wanted to hear that she was just a stupid conceited girl who had been taken in by loving fairly tales, and that her price charming was really a retch dressed in aluminium foil.
But she had turned the corner and given the car gas so it could climb the slope and she had turned the wheel and maneuvered into the rickety shed over the old cistern. She wasn’t even sure at the time why she had taken the precaution, by the time her woke up and realized she was gone, he would probably just head over to Andy’s to celebrate being free of her.
But she had just finished saying what she had to her mother, and had just steeled herself for the tirade that was coming, when there was a heavy knock on the door. A heavy and persistent knocking followed by a voice, his voice. First calling her name, then asking politely, if a little breathless, if she was there, and if she might come out to him. At first she had been transfixed, and the temptation flooded her to tell her mother that it was all a mistake, that she was wrong.
But it was already all out there, and saying another outright lie would do neither of them any good. She had made her choice, she had chosen to flee, and she wouldn’t turn back until he did something other than throw shade at her for the things he failed continuously to do.
She asked her mother to hold on a moment and scribbled a poem on the notepad she kept in her bag. She then told her mom to give it to him and then she grabbed her bag and went up to her room.
Now here she was, watching him between the crack of the curtains, standing on the sidewalk, looking up at her window then at the folded piece of paper in his hand, on the outside of which she had written “Dear You“