From Here

The man knocks on the door at 3:00 pm, as agreed. He knocks three times with the knuckles of his left hand. He is right-handed, but that hand currently holds a small black suitcase. He closes the screen door gently and takes a step back. He waits.
The man wears blue jeans and a button down dress shirt, decorated with criss-crossed lines. His son had described it as his “graph paper” shirt. That was a long time ago. He considers this as the door opens. A boy of six years stands there. This must be Josh.
“You must be Josh,” the man says, his tone quaint and gentle.
“Good afternoon?” Josh asks.
“Is Kenneth here?”
“Yes,” Josh replies. “I’ll get him.”
Josh turns away from the front door and walks down the hall. The man watches him through the screen. Well-mannered, the man notes. Josh doesn’t yell for his father; he goes to him. After a moment, Josh returns.
“He’ll be right out,” Josh says.
“Thank you, Josh,” the man says.
Josh remains just inside the screen door.
“So you’re not from here?” Josh asks, without looking at him.
“How did you know that, Josh?”
“Your license plate,” Josh says.
The man turns to look where Josh is looking. “Smart boy. You’re a smart boy,” the man says. He turns back to him and crouches to his level. “Well, I’m from here now. You can sit down, Josh. We’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other.”
Josh peers into the man’s eyes for a brief moment before backing away from the door and sitting down in the living room. The man straightens up again as Josh turns on the television. The man hears muffled voices, then what can only be a laugh track, then a muffled voice, and another laugh track.
A man appears at the end of the hall. This must be Kenneth. He walks the hallway towards the front door. He stops five feet away. His eyes are red.
“You must be Kenneth.”
“Yes,” Kenneth says.
“That’s great,” the man says, and opens the screen door. He walks in and stops just inside. He sets his suitcase down. The two men look at each other.
“You’re not how I imagined you,” Kenneth says.
“That’s normal. You are how I pictured you, but I suppose I have the advantage in that department.” There is only the muffled sound of television voices in immediate response.
After a moment, however, Kenneth says, “I don’t think—“
“Kenneth, you’re already late.”
Kenneth looks around and begins to form a response.
The man smiles.
“Time is wasting, Kenneth,” the man says. He points to the watch on his right wrist. “It’s wasting.”
Kenneth bites his lower lip and hesitates. Then, without looking behind him, he walks out, letting the screen door hush tentatively closed. Kenneth gets into his car and starts the engine. The man watches him. Kenneth looks over his shoulder, backs the car slowly out of the driveway, and drives away.
“Where is he going?” Josh asks.
“He’s going away, Josh. He’s got somewhere he needs to be,” the man says. “Now which one was his bedroom?”
“At the end of the hall, on your right,” Josh says.
“Thank you, Josh. You’re very helpful.” The man picks up the suitcase and walks down the hall to his new room. A woman stands waiting at the door. She stares deep into him.
“And you must be Sarah,” the man says.
“Welcome home,” Sarah says.
She doesn’t blink. “We’ve been expecting you.”

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This entry was posted in Short Story, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to From Here

  1. av8trix says:

    wow.
    expecting you?

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