Kristina England | Joey To
Jerry glanced out the living room window.
“Quick, hun, grab the binoculars. That Cadillac is back again.”
“I told you, it’s probably some high school kids necking.”
“No, it’s not. I got a sense for these things. And heck, I didn’t ask you for your opinion, now did I?”
Agnes glanced at him. She had a snappy comment. Something to the effect that if he had any sense, it wasn’t the common kind. But she knew better.
Agnes walked over to the coat closet with a step ladder. She opened the door, unfolded the ladder, and ascended the steps. She shifted through the boxes of stuff that Jerry insisted was important. Stuff he hadn’t looked at in years.
Sometimes she dreamed about dumping it all and seeing if he noticed. But she knew he would. He noticed everything.
She removed a dusty case, opened the lid, and stared down at the binoculars. She looked back at Jerry.
“What if you don’t like what you see?”
“Will you give me the darn things before he drives off, again!”
Agnes descended the steps carefully. She didn’t need another broken rib or God forbid she broke her hip. Then again, she wasn’t the accident prone type. But it’s what she told the doctors and what she’d begun to believe.
“If you’re going to be that impatient when all I’m doing is helping…”
Jerry turned and stared at her.
Agnes swallowed the rest of the sentence.
“That’s what I thought.”
Agnes walked over and handed the binoculars to Jerry. He grabbed them forcefully and put them up to his eyes. He frowned.
“The windows are tinted black. I thought that was illegal in Massachusetts.”
Jerry sat down on the couch. He looked pale.
“What is it, Jerr?”
“It’s just… I have this gut feeling that car is waiting for me.”
Agnes didn’t reply. The room seemed to echo their silence.
Then Jerry shrugged.
“Go grab me a beer, will you? Oh and put away these damn binoculars.”
Agnes crept out of bed and tiptoed down the hall. She pushed open the curtain. The Cadillac was still there.
She tiptoed back down the hall and grabbed her bathrobe and slippers.
Agnes paused in the doorway to listen to the rhythm of Jerry’s snore, both hard and deep.
Then she went to the front door, opened it, and shuffled out into the cold November air, the smell of autumn muffled by the first snow.
Agnes walked up to the car and peered into the window, but all she could see was her own reflection. She tapped on the glass. Nothing happened.
Agnes’ heart sank. There was obviously no one in the car. Perhaps its owner was having an affair with one of the stay-at-home wives. Although, wouldn’t those kinds of dalliances go on during the day when the husband wasn’t home?
Agnes looked at the door handle. She gripped it and pulled. The door swung open. She jumped at the unexpected man sitting in the driver’s seat playing solitaire on his lap. He stopped.
“You’re making it very hard for me to concentrate.”
“Don’t apologize. I’m not your husband. So, what is it that you want?”
Agnes looked at the man. He was pale with cropped blonde hair. He wore sunglasses. She looked up at the moon, then back at him.
“I was wondering who you are waiting for?”
“What makes you think I’m waiting for someone?”
“Well, you certainly aren’t watching anyone.”
“You’re very observant.”
“Thanks, but you didn’t answer the question.”
The man looked at her. At least she thought he looked at her through the sunglasses.
“I’m waiting for your husband.”
Agnes laughed, but the man’s face remained unmoved.
“Well, would you like me to tell him that you are waiting for him? And, if so, why?”
“The less information your husband knows, the better.”
“But then how will he know you are here?”
“Because he will come find me.”
“You obviously don’t know my husband.”
“I know him as much as I know any person I meet. Besides, he won’t have a choice. Now go back in the house before you catch a cold. You’ve got a while yet before you come looking for me.”
Agnes shrugged, turned around, and walked up to the house. She turned back. The Cadillac was gone.
Agnes glanced out the window in the morning.
“Don’t waste your time looking. It ain’t there. How ‘bout you make me breakfast.”
Agnes walked into the kitchen. She pulled out the skillet and turned on the burner. She heard a loud thud in the dining room.
“Jerr, you okay?”
Agnes opened the fridge and pulled out one egg. She reached in and grabbed a container of margarine.
The egg made a popping sound a few minutes later. She slid it onto a plate, looked down at the fried egg, and startled herself with her careless mistake. Jerr liked scrambled. She was the fried egg person.
Agnes walked around the corner. Jerry was lying on the floor twitching.
She put the plate down on the table, walked over to the living room window, and peered out. The Cadillac had returned.
The car window opened. The pale man nodded. He got out of the car and opened the back driver’s side door. Agnes thought she saw a shadow climb into the car, but attributed it to the morning light. The pale man slammed the door shut. Jerr’s body stopped twitching.
The pale man got back in the car, then gave a departing wave and drove off.
Agnes sat down, cut open the egg, and watched the yolk flow.