The empty chair near the window.
James’ eyebrows never seemed so raised, despite the fact his forehead had multiple botox fillings. Just an instant before, there wasn’t any trace of emotion on the top half of his face. In the inner pocket of his suit jacket, he could feel the vibrating phone that he’d been ignoring for the last four minutes.
The room seemed a lot larger than he remembered. He could see the cigarette smoke creating a mild haze that tinted the far objects in a dull shade of blue, as he tried to recognize from the distance the blurry shapes that changed their form, from squares, to circles, to glaring hexagons. The tears pouring out of his eyes didn’t let him focus on the scene. His thoughts got lost in the morphing shapes of scattered light running through his watery eyes. Devastated for having to go through the worst argument of his life, he sat down 30 minutes earlier, and stared at the wall for what seemed to be an eternity.
He remembered his choice of words back a few years ago, on the day he met his wife, Diana. Back in that day, he approached her at the campus, and told her a wacky story about a missing book, and another about a class that she should join. She did.
James’ mind went blank again, sitting in this smokey room. He picked up his wedding band from the floor, cleaned it up a bit, and put it back in his pocket. His finger wasn’t worthy of this ring.
With his hand inside the pocket, he pulled the vibrating phone. Call from Diana, reads the screen. He picked up. A stranger’s nervous voice yells through the tiny speaker, as James holds it against his chest.
“Sir, my name is Mark. I’m sorry to disturb you with this. There is a woman that jumped out of a window on Greenwood street. You are the emergency contact on this phone… do you know who she is?”
“Sir, I’m very sorry about this. She– Uh- She is… she is dead, sir.”
We all are.
“What? Who is th — ”
James squeezed the phone in his hand with anger, while the street noise became a lot more convoluted. Unusual screams started to populate the air. In the corner of the living room, there was a startled, yet sad looking dog, standing next to a furry toy. The little dog hates sirens. So does James.
James turned his head, in the dullest, saddest way imaginable. He looked at the empty chair near the window. Diana’s right shoe is still there, pointing towards him. The curtains dance with a damp, cold wind that crawls through his legs.
On Greenwood street, on October 12, 2011, a phone fell from the 3rd floor window, breaking into pieces near the dead body of Diana.
So did James.