The story so far:
Thane could see her doing it, though. He could see her, standing at the one window in her apartment that looked out into the street, her fingertips gently resting against the glass. She would have puffed her breath downwards so as not to mist the glass – that quirky consciensioness that he loved in her. She would have been waiting for him with sad eyes, worried that her second marriage, only a few months old now, was a liability rather than the security she had hoped it would always be.
He had been late, it’s true. He had a habit of being late, always running to catch up with the life that seemed to be slipping away just ahead of him. But he had started out from work only about 10 minutes late – no need to call. And then Joe who sold hot dogs on the corner had only made him another seven minutes late – he ran for the train, but didn’t make it. Of course, when he finally did get on, his train was stuck in the tunnel for awhile due to ‘technical difficulties’. If only he had gotten home on time!
The black of the night enveloped him now that he was out beyond most human habitation. It was cloudy – he couldn’t see any stars, not that he had time to lift his weary head as he plodded onward. His breath was burning in his throat, but all he could see in the darkness was Maria, the glowing light of his life.
Images flashed within his fevered mind – Maria, tinkling with laughter at his foolish puns, her face lighted up. Maria, bent over the sink with some vegetables, looking so focused, not even hearing him come in the kitchen. Maria as he first saw her, her eyes wide and glistening at the charge of their connection.
Other images threatened to crowd these out – thoughts of Maria, sadly turning up the volume on their favorite song as she waited. Ella's silky-honey voice would've rung out, loud enough to not here the ‘snick’ of a small loid unlocking the door. Maria wouldn't have turned as a dark figure entered the apartment behind her...Thane put on an extra burst of speed, the pain of his muscles chasing all other thoughts out for a moment.