Light shined in the window down the street. Was it a lamp? Or, a streetlight reflecting off glass? It was black outside. No stars were out. Moon didn’t glow. Just that light in the window; a yellowish color exposing nothing. He looked closer. A couple of dogs barked. Cars with music playing drove by; teenagers out on a school night.
He didn’t know the people at the end of the street. Nor did he want to. He kept to himself. Mowed the yard when it got high. Shoveled the driveway in the winter. Planted flowers in the spring. He did all that was required to be a homeowner. The middle-aged man had lived in Avalon for years. His neighbors waved at him; he’d wave back. But, he never talked to anyone. Sat in his front room mostly. Watched television and drank coffee. He’d go to work at the assembly line early in the morning and get off in the afternoon. Tried to sleep, but thoughts kept him awake. Questions ran through his head. Why didn’t I marry that girl from high school? Why didn’t I ever become a father? he asked himself as he sat on the edge of the mattress. The loneliness kept him awake.
And so, he stood there, looking out the window at the light shining down the street. Did somebody forget to turn it off? he slurped his coffee. The tall, lanky fellow noticed there wasn’t a car in the driveway. There usually was at this time of night. And that light was never on. There was no shining object at this time of night, he thought. Something wasn’t right, he lit a cigarette.
A woman opened the door. He’d seen her before. It was a shadow at first, and then she came into the light. She was smoking, too. Pacing back and forth on the front porch. Just this figure walking back and forth; smoking. He wondered what was going on. Maybe her husband had left her, he thought. Perhaps one of the kids never came home. He looked at the clock in the kitchen. It was two in the morning. The woman walked back into the house. The light was turned off.