If she’d seen it in a crystal ball, she never would have believed what happened next.
The ice formed early, that November. But today is not snowing for a change but pouring. Rain water trickles unnoticed, into a minuscule fissure in the foundation. She can see it from the bedroom window looking down. She even imagines hearing the sound it makes. Had it always been there? She didn’t notice. Not in the beginning at least. Only the other day when she was in the garden and attending to that over grown rose bushes that was planted along the foundation of the house did she see it. She must tell it to Bill. There is a certain possibility that he is already aware of the matter. So perceptive is Bill about the things which concerned him directly. But where is he?
Lately, he’s coming and going are becoming more unpredictable. Not that his whereabouts interests her a great deal these days; she ceased caring where he might be a long time ago. She can’t stand the long nights of waiting, the worrying, and the looks he gives her when she dare asks. After a while, she gotten used to going to bed alone, mostly with sleeping pills and a glass of brandy, it works better that way. Only the silence she can barely stand. The emptiness of the house and the unspoken animosity between them are wearisome burdens.
Yesterday she went for a walk and had lunch with Emma. She didn’t dare to mention the apartment she recently purchased (from her own money) and her plan of moving there, alone. She cannot bear confrontation at this early stage. She would deal with whatever may come later. For now she has to remain decisive and strong. She will need it.
The sound of the doorbell pulls her out of her reverie. Who might that be? She suddenly conscious of her own naked body clad only in thin morning gown. She looks at the clock on her bedside table. She never realized it is that late already! How long she had been standing there looking at that rain water, lost in her thoughts?
The continuing loud chimes of the doorbell send her running down the stairs, pulling the garment tightly around her body as if for protection, she hurries to see her unexpected visitor. Two police officers are standing on her steps when she opens the door. Confusion seizes her and she stammers questions unintelligibly, one after the other.
“Ma’am, are you Mrs. Bill____?” One of the two interrupted her.
“There was an accident early this morning. The melting ice Ma’am… really dangerous. His car must have slipped, turned over and fell into the ravine. We’ve been calling you all morning, no answer. Passed by earlier but nobody home. We need you to ID him. Ma’am, are you okay?”
She collapses onto the floor, crying hysterically…