Dinner must be almost ready. Almost, but not quite, because she could still hear the knife on the cutting board, the clank of pans. Sarah. Her name was Sarah. He’d made sure she knew. Because she wouldn’t want to hear, or because she would? She laughed, a short, bitter burst, under her breath and immediately recoiled from her own voice. She was embarrassed. No, not embarrassed, because no one had heard her, of course. She felt ashamed. That was it. Character is who you are in the dark. Who said that? Moody, was it? Character was who you are. Here. Character was who you are here.
Ok. Time to move on. The sunlight filling the room made her pale belly gleam white and the farmer’s tan on her arms made them look like they belonged to someone else, another body. Another body.
Right. The window? The window. Yes. Dinner was almost ready and she had to try. Had to fight. Had to. Did Sarah fight? Had she seen defensive wounds? She’d watched enough of those forensic detective shows to know the proper terminology. How interesting she’d always found them. Did Sarah have defensive wounds on her hands? Did Sarah have his flesh under her fingernails? Did Sarah have fingernails anymore? Was she even Sarah anymore? The first time…I died… Kate Bush. That one she knew for certain. Ok. Moving on.
The window wasn’t locked, wasn’t sealed up or blocked in any way. He must have figured it was too far to matter. It might be embarrassing. Yes, that would be embarrassing because other people might see her. That was the point. Embarrassment was not the. She couldn’t. No.
Carefully. Carefully. She eased the window up. It caught, stuck. If she shoved, would he hear? There was music in the kitchen though. Billie Holiday? How loud was it? She couldn’t tell. Had to try. Had to. She shoved the window up and it moved more quietly than she’d anticipated. Surely he wouldn’t have heard. Surely.
She looked out and down. It was really very far. Ten? Yes, ten stories. Ok, no matter. There was a ledge, too. Not a wide one, but wide enough to stand on. Would anyone see her? She didn’t see anyone to see her. It was the middle of the day though. Broad daylight. There had to be someone. Had to.
The kitchen seemed awfully quiet suddenly. Her heart lurched, dropped. It was time. Now. Now. Now.
She stepped onto the ledge, too quickly. Teetered. Felt sick. Pressed her back to the wall and tried not to. She didn’t even know. She looked down. Someone? Anyone? Looked up, listened. Couldn’t hear the music anymore, but she thought there were random cooking sounds again. Maybe.
Ok. Edging along the ledge. There was another window coming up on her right. Same apartment? She was afraid to look in. Afraid. What was in there? She couldn’t. Just no. But she couldn’t pass it without even knowing what might be in there. Ok. It was ok. She could. Had to. She cast a quick glance into the room. There were. Things. No one. Not people. Not anymore. Ok.
The ledge was wider in front of the window. Easier. She thought about that instead. Past the window now. Needed to move well beyond. Faster. Ok. No more windows? No. Not that she could see.
She realized she was in the middle of a long stretch of ledge. No windows. Nowhere to go. No way off. Only back. Not a possibility. She was outside though. It would be ok. Right? Had to. Ok. Moving on.
The wall was so long. Wasn’t there anybody else? Her legs felt unsteady. She didn’t know what to do anymore. Had to keep going. Had to. There was so much wind, it howled in her ears. Wait. Wind? Yes. Something else, too, though. Yes. A siren? Really? She waited. Closed her eyes. Yes. Yes! Yes! Oh my god. Oh my god. A siren. Yes. She opened her eyes, sat on the ledge. Too quickly, almost fell. Closed her eyes again and leaned back against the wall. Cried. Started to shake all over. Ok. Hold on. Not safe yet. Not yet. She felt dizzy, had to open her eyes. There was a police car. A fire truck too. One with a ladder. They were coming. They were really coming. She really was going to be ok.
There would be no dinner tonight.