The Brass Doorknob
She stared at the doorknob from her seat on the couch, willing it to turn on its own so she wouldn’t have to do it herself. The door seemed miles away.
She looked at the clock on the wall. 5:37. It was one of those with the numbers all jumbled – 10 on the bottom, 9 where the 4 should be and so forth. She’d found it at a yard sale. She loved that clock. The clock would have to stay.
Packing had been surprisingly easy. Choosing one outfit to wear to work each morning was a nightmare but deciding what she could live without was a snap. If it didn’t fit, it didn’t go. Toothbrush? Check. Pictures on the bureau – she didn’t need pictures of herself. Of her mom? Yes. Of his? Um, no. Books? She’d read them all. CDs? Most were his. She could buy more. Or she could come back for things, right?
No! One-way ticket. Don’t come back.
He slept through it all. No surprise. It was Saturday. He’d be out until at least 10, normal function to resume… Monday?
Probably no sex for a while, she thought. His t-shirt rode up over his gut. He scratched, snored almost loud enough to wake, then rolled over. Back to snoring – right in her ear if she’d still been lying next to him. No sex. Definitely a mixed blessing.
Bags were packed. The next challenge was getting up off the couch. The doorknob would have to wait. Her ass was like lead on the edge of the cushion, her legs not quite strong enough to lift it. The longer she sat, the more she could feel the tension spreading over her neck and shoulders – early rigor mortis setting in. A deep breath. Another one. More snores from the bedroom. The clock: 5:41, or 3:11 depending on how you read it.
Should she leave a note? How long before he’d even read it? He’d stumble into the kitchen, annoyed she hadn’t made coffee. Back to the couch groaning over the aches, probably another 15 minutes before he realized she wasn’t there. How long before he noticed one folded piece of paper amid all the bottles and other crap on the table?
Should she make the coffee?
With one more heavy sigh, she found the strength to stand. The door was only about five strides in front of her – really only one direction to go. With each step forward, a chance to step back was gone.
For the first time, she glanced out the window to gauge the weather. Even a day like today still has weather, she thought. Sunrise, wisps of cloud streaking pink – beautiful, really. No rain. A day like this should have rain, shrouding mist, something. But no, it was gorgeous. Go figure.
Should she grab an umbrella?
Now, the doorknob was in reach. Without lifting her eyes, she unlocked the top bolt. Efforts to keep quiet seemed a bit silly now. Even if he did wake up, he’d just assume she was out grabbing the newspaper. She could make two trips to the car so she could grab a few more things - the clock and an umbrella, maybe. A few CDs?
No! One time through the door. That’s it.
Finally, her hand was on the knob. Only questions ahead. Nothing but the wrong answers behind. All she had to do was walk out the door.
One last deep breath. Squeeze. Twist.
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