‘A chink in the curtains. A gap letting in a shaft of light to where she sat. Waiting. Crouched in a small space no bigger than her bedroom cabinet. Her legs were going numb, pins and needles had started in her left arm. Unsurprising when it was crushed between her ribs and the cold stone wall. She tried to shift her position but couldn’t move. Only wobbled. She couldn’t risk toppling over, though; couldn’t risk touching the curtain. If it moved, she would be found.
She heard a sound. A quiet ‘clink’ as the key turned the levers in the lock, and the ‘whoosh’ as the door swung open. She held her breath, lest the slightest noise should alert them. Heavy footsteps crossed the room to the dark plum settee and stopped. He was directly in front of her now. His broad shoulders covered by a crisp white shirt, his tie loosened. She could feel her heart hammering her chest, threatening to break free. She was sure it was loud enough to hear. It was certainly deafening to her. But he seemed unaware. Good. That’s how it needed to be. To remain.
He sat down, and started to untie his laces. She watched his fingers deftly go about their business until his shoes and socks sat neatly by the leg of the settee. Her eyes flitted upwards, taking in the lines round his eyes, that creased as he smiled; the corners of his mouth that tilted ever so slightly up. She smiled. He hadn’t changed. Except, he had.
The pins and needles were getting worse, but she knew she couldn’t risk shifting. Not now she was so close. Only a few minutes more, she was sure. He looked up. Directly at her. She froze, watching his face for clues. Holding her breath. Willing her arm not to flinch. He shrugged and looked away, muttering something under his breath. He seemed nervous. Maybe he expected something. Good, she didn’t mind having the upper hand.
He sat back down, and laid his head against the dark, luxurious fabric. His hair parted slightly, and softened against the cushion. Within minutes she had watched him fall asleep. The gentle snore as he breathed in and out. So peaceful, so serene. So deceptive. In that moment she almost backed out. Seeing him so vulnerable made her doubt her next move, but she knew. She knew there was no going back. This had to be done.
She steadied herself, watching carefully through the gap in the curtains for any sign of waking. It was now or never, and never wasn’t an option. Her grip tightened on what she had brought with her. A little ‘present’ she thought. Something with which she could say goodbye, once and for all.’
Nothing to do with the photo, but hey!
‘Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.’ ~ Thomas Jefferson