I rarely sleep through the night anymore. Sometimes I cannot get to sleep, other times a wake up early. When this happens I usually end up in the front room so I do not disturb the rest of the house. I will read occasionally, but typically I will sit in the dark and watch the nights activities. This night I was watching.
The Johnson’s were the most active late night house on our quiet street. I had been watching their marriage fall apart for some time now. He had stated coming home late once every other week or so. No big deal; everything seemed normal the next morning. He would leave for work at the normal time with her waving from the door.
Once every other week soon turned into a couple of times a week. I would see her standing in the window watching for him. Initially, she would wait there until he came home. Many a silent night was shattered by loud arguments from their garage. After a few weeks she started going to bed before he got home. Sse was not visible when he left for work anymore.
Something was different tonight. She had left earlier with the kids, did not come back with them. Not too unusual; they frequently stayed with her mother. She was also back at the window. Even from here I could tell she had been crying. She was also still dressed as she was earlier; no robe or nightgown as was normal for this time of night.
I saw the headlights of his car out of the corner of my eye, but I could not turn away from her. Her eyes got a little wider and her back seemed to straighten a bit. Other than that she did not move until he had pulled into the garage, then she slowly turned and headed back into the house.
It was less than a minute later that I heard the muffled explosion of a gunshot. I did not jump, no surprised intake of breath; I guess I was actually expecting it. There was no sound of an argument, no shouting, no screaming; just a single shot.
I suppose I should call the police, but I think I will give her a few minutes more.
Written for Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday Prompt.