It had been years since she left. Walked out of her bedroom door. And never came back. He still lived in the same house. Alone.
The door was there all those years. And the room behind it. But it was a sacred space. A room to secret while she was in it to even visit now. At times when the dark night got lonely he imagined she was there still. Sitting on the other side of the door.
He would recall the music coming through the wall. She listened to it as she fell asleep. And he would dream of her dreaming about him. But this was before. Now the silence wakes him at night. He listens for the music. It used to play all night. And he hears the birds. Or the wind. But the music has been stilled. Only on the coldest nights of the heart does he drift so far away to hear the music. Then it is the same. Like nothing has changed. She is there and he is here. Dreaming of dreaming.
He walks by the door on his way to the bathroom. And his way to the kitchen. And even on the way to the garage. Though it is out of the way for all three. Never in all the time she was there did he knock on the door. And never did he open the door. But one day he will grow balance.
It was four a.m. A time when poets are writing. And lovers are sleeping. She was a poet and a writer. And he was wide awake in a cold sweat. The left overs from his most recent meal spilled on the bed. It was three days ago. The window flashes lights as people drive by on the street. And he wants tonight to sleep in her room. Even on the bare floor.
He crawls across his room. Sneaks the door open. Down the short hall. Around the corner. Up the stairs. There is the room. The door.
He touches the door knob. And it begins to turn in his hand. It falls open as he leans into the doorway. And it slowly widens from a crack to a gap. The bed comes into view. Her bed is still there covered with soft pillows. A bed he dreamed about before. But never touched. It was there in front of him, but still far away.
The door opens wider and he sees a second door. This door must go to the street. He looks to the door. And out the window to a tree in the yard. The branches sway in the breeze. It looks like it might rain. The rain made him think of childhood.
As a child he spent so many hours alone. If he wasn’t roaming the hills alone. It was curled in the corner reading a book alone. The meals served by his mother, before she rushed to watch TV. He never liked TV. In school he ate alone too. But snapping back to reality he sees a foot. He is not alone tonight.
She hasn’t left. All this time she was still there behind the door.
His heart is racing. Sweat is pooling on his palms. Like a deer in the middle of the road he is unsure. Close the door or leave it open. Run or stay. He starts to do one, then the other. Then back to the first. And she stirs and he is frozen.
Mostly by fear. But her face is to him now. He can she her there like he has never seen her before. He wasn’t alone. Or not as alone as he thought. What became of the music? Music was something he never had in his life. It was of the devil. When he first moved from the small town to the ocean he embraced music. Like a wave it swept him way from his pain. There was a way to live in the world with passion. And music was the way for him.
Her eyes caught his attention. She was looking at him. Leaning with her face on her hand. The slim wrists tangled in her long dark hair. It looked like a shadow falling from her head. Her nails poking through white with pink tips. And her eyes shining like pools or dark water.
The confusion was too much to bear. He turn to run. But then he stopped. Again he looked at her face. But then she rolled over and went back to sleep. He took the door handle in is palm. And with a gentle push closed it. The room was darker without the light from the hall. But a glimmer reflected from the trees outside.
Her breathing was even, calm and measured like a lazy metronome. He followed it as his heart grew warm. When he sat on the bed. She rolled over to him, and touched his arm. When he slipped between the sheets she touched his side. When he slide closer her breath was the same as his.
But what had happened to the music?
(From a new writing prompt book: The Pocket Muse)