I clamped down on the butt of the cigarette, chewing it back and forth, still not believing she was down there. No mistaking her of course, with that tight white skirt, that spectacular flourish of a hat, and the long, painful angle of her legs. Who else would be out in a downpour like this, dressed to the nines like that? Damn it.
The little dashes of reflected light from the raindrops surrounded her under that streetlamp. Across the street, five stories below me, face obscured by shadow and that had, I still knew she was looking up at my office window, and looking for me. Well here I was, I wasn’t gonna hide, so you could glare at me all damned night long if you didn’t catch your death of it out there first. Suit yourself.
Never met anybody in my life as stubborn as her, and doubted I’d be living long enough to meet anyone yet who fit the bill. Some people choose who they are and what they do, and some people are just born that way. Me, I made my share of bad choices, or to be honest some downright mean and wrong things, but I feel bad for them now. She doesn’t lack a conscience, in fact her conscience may be half and again her problem. It’s more that she’s so fired up certain about herself she never looks backwards even once. You have to do that sometimes, and she don’t get it.
I need a scotch, but my last glass is sporting the meltings of long-gone ice cubes and a few cigarette butt boats. I flung the watery goo into the waste basket, mostly getting it all in, and wiped out the inside of the glass with the corner of my jacket. Got most of the ash out allright, and the finer points of how it disrupted the nuances in the flavor of my cheap scotch really wasn’t something I was taking time to worry over. I downed a glass, filled it back up. I could still feel her out there watching my window. I could feel it like the ache in my busted ribs.
I shook my matchbox, a single match inside. I was about to be out of matches but damned well was going to need this smoke so made sure not to screw it up. My hand didn’t shake as the match shished awake, and didn’t shake as I light my smoke, but was shaking when I went back to the window and saw she was gone.
I knew hoping the milquetoast guard down there would stop her was a feeble wish. Even if he wasn’t asleep, and even if he remembered my instructions, she would barely slow down as she moved right through him. Probably better for him to be sleeping away the storm.
The wind shifted and the tac of raindrops off my window got louder. The window would be leaking around the base at this rate. Landlord never would fix it, didn’t leak that often, he claimed, but when it did it made a helluva mess. Really should get the waste basket under it, or a bucket before it gets too bad.
The door creaks open and she just stands there in the doorway, dripping all over my floor. I can see now that her skirt is torn and her jacket more than a little dirty. One of those impossible heels is cracked, maybe even broken, but I just know you wouldn’t be able to tell that by watching her walk. She just stands there, looking at me, her face still in darkness under the brim of that ridiculously wide hat.