“It’s raining so hard that the new roof begins to leak, and the pouring rain forces people to ditch the umbrellas for something stronger. Jennifer continues to stare out of her window, sitting on a chair in front it; she has been gazing at the mud sliding down the edge of the garden that once looked beautiful just a week ago.”
It’s raining so hard that the new roof begins to leak, and the pouring rain forces people to ditch the umbrellas for something stronger. Jennifer continues to stare out of her window, sitting on a chair in front it; she has been gazing at the mud sliding down the edge of the garden that once looked beautiful just a week ago. Jennifer realizes that it has been raining for three days now, and she has yet to step out of her abode. All she has been doing is staring out the window, waiting for the sun to emerge from the darkness of the clouds beyond the glass. It’s been about five hours now, and she still hasn’t moved, not even to stretch her legs, or to fill her empty stomach.
Was this her form of entertainment, locking her eyes with the grass on her front lawn? Excluding herself from everyone she has ever known, she declines her family’s calls without hesitation. She alienates herself from her family, because she feels like a disappointment to them after dropping out of college. Jennifer’s heart continues to fill with sadness and anger as she fails to open up to her family. Jennifer hasn’t eaten in three days. You can tell she is fighting the hunger as she clenches her abdomen with her legs, which are now crossed in the chair that she has not removed herself from in hours.
A gray-haired man, with a bright yellow slick raincoat and matching boots and a hat, starts walking towards Jennifer’s house from afar. She becomes aware of his presence immediately, because she sees him step on the grass. Jennifer notices his gray beard hanging below his chin like a mop hangs from its wooden stick. Her heart beats faster, yet in a rhythm, to a song that she heard on the radio recently. Her eyes begin to dilate as she sees him get closer and closer to the window, but she remains still. Jennifer, frozen in the chair, is temporarily paralyzed by her existence there for so long, she’s unable to move any part of her body except her eyes. Looking into her brown eyes, the panic and the stress is visible as she directs her attention to this stranger. The bearded man reaches the window. All that stands in between them is the glass. Jennifer is only able to see the buttons on the raincoat, and not his face, because she is frozen and unable to move her head from the direction of the grass.
The man walks back and forth in front of the window, with his head down, thinking about what do. Suddenly, the only light in Jennifer’s house shuts off, and the time on the radio near her cuts off. The power is out, yet Jennifer’s eyes still remain glued to the glass. The yellow man gets an inexplicable look on his face and directs it towards the glass that stands between him and Jennifer. The yellow man begins walking towards the front door. Jennifer remembers that she didn’t lock the door, and prays that he doesn’t try to let himself in.
Jennifer rises slowly as the doorknob begins to turn. She walks slowly to hide, because her body is weak from sitting still for so long. The yellow man gets inside the gray walls of Jennifer’s home and walks around the living room. The yellow man searches the house for her.
A silent moment passes by, and she finally comes out of her closet and exclaims weakly, with a lot of breath, “Who are you and why are you here?”
Her heart beats faster, simultaneously with the more breaths she takes. He continues to walk back and forth, leaving Jennifer trembling outside of the closet door. Her plan to confront the man backfires, for she stands weaponless and vulnerable. She is standing outside of the one place he can’t find her, giving up her spot of safety. The bearded man looks up at her, standing still, with his eyes locked onto her neck. Jennifer is frightened from this situation that she is left with.
There they stand, trapped inside the gray, gloomy walls of Jennifer’s home. Jennifer wonders why he still hasn’t said a word. All he does is walk back and forth within the gray walls. She takes this opportunity to run to the kitchen, in hopes of finding a more piercing weapon to scare him off, because she is contemplating if she is capable of fighting for her life at this point. She reaches the kitchen and quickly locates the knives. Running her hand down the butt of her knives, she grabs the largest and sharpest one and holds onto it for dear life as she hears his footsteps coming towards her.
He shouts with slyness, “You can hide, but I’ll find you. You can run, but I’ll catch up.”
He reaches the kitchen. As he stands in the doorway, he whispers just loud enough that Jennifer, who is standing at the very end of the kitchen, can hear, “You can try anything you want, but you’ll still die.”
The bearded man traps her in her own kitchen by blocking the doorway. She lunges at him with the knife, but he backs up and dodges the plunge intended to end his life. Jennifer gets up from the floor and runs as fast as she can towards her bedroom. Hiding under the bed, she plans to stab the bearded man’s ankle to buy her time for her escape.
The bearded man enters the room with a knife in the left hand and a gun in the right. He whispers, “You can hide, but I’ll find you sooner or later.”
Looking through the closet, he fails to find her. He steps before the bed, and Jennifer knows that it’s now or never; she charges her right arm at his ankle, thrusting her knife through his boots into his skin. He yells in pain and falls to the floor. Jennifer inches out from under the bed to find a weapon to finish him off with. When she comes back with a gun from the safe in the garage, he is gone. With adrenaline still pumping through her blood, she searches her mind for a solution.
Before she can look for the bearded man again, he comes out from behind the bedroom door and cuts into her shoulder. While in excruciating pain, she dodges his next thrust and takes cover inside the closet. She knows what to do now.
He limps to the closet and says, “Come out now.”
She knows it’s either him or her at this point and comes out behind the pile of clothes, shooting. BOOM… BOOM… BOOM… BOOM… BOOM. She keeps shooting, never stopping. Jennifer hears police sirens in the distance and doesn’t hesitate to stop shooting. She doesn’t feel the pain in her arm anymore due to the adrenaline and anger surging through her body. She has been shooting for about four minutes now, four minutes of never-ending gunshots. He is dead, and has been since the first shot to the chest, but she continues to shoot his head, torso, neck, and everywhere else. He made her vulnerable. The police come inside, and she stops shooting. The ambulance comes to get the dead body and takes her to the hospital to stitch up the wound left by a stranger.
When back home, days later from the hospital, she looks over at her chair, stationed before the glass window. She walks over to the chair and rests her eyes upon it for a moment, looking back on all the time she wasted there. She moves the chair to its initial location and walks toward the house phone. She picks it up gently, like she is afraid of the phone, and dials her mother.
When she gets an answer, she says into the phone, “I love you and I’m sorry.”
Her mother replies, “Why haven’t you answered any of our calls? We just want to speak to you.”
They speak for hours, continuing conversations left on hold.
They catch up on their lives and, weeks later, Jennifer moves back in with her parents.