He stood at the window, staring aimlessly at the street.
‘John, when are you going to call Mum? She’s worried.’ His sister’s voice cut into his mind from behind him. He turned around, arms crossed over his chest.
‘Marge, I just want to have some head-space. It’s too much right now. Mum’s going to want all the details, and I’m not ready to give them.’ He leaned over the computer to look at his sister’s face in the Skype box. ‘I don’t see why I should have to explain every little part of my life to her. I’m old enough to ruin myself if I so wish.’
Marge sighed. ‘Whilst that’s true, we’re all worried about you. It all happened so fast.’
He moved back to the window, sitting sideways so he could see Marge and still watch the street.
‘John, maybe you should see someone.’
‘I don’t have time for that, and I don’t want to talk about it to a stranger.’
He saw movement at the corner of the street. A red skirt swished into view, carrying fallen leaves in it’s wake. He straightened up.
‘John, I know this guy…’
‘Marge, I’ve got to go. Sorry.’ He quickly closed the computer lid, and went back to the window. It was her. She’d obviously been shopping, as she carried a number of brightly-coloured bags. He watched as she navigated her bags past a walking couple. The man jostled her, and she dropped one of her bags, but he didn’t stop. He didn’t even turn around to apologise. It was like he hadn’t seen her at all.
She crouched down to gather the bag back, and as she stood, she looked directly up at John. For a moment, he thought she scowled, but then a smile crept across her face, and she waved at him. At that moment, the wind rose, and leaves swirled around her… through her? He shook his head.
For a second, he thought: maybe Marge is right, maybe I should see someone.
He glanced down again, and realised she was struggling with the keys to open the door to their building. She looked up at him in mock exasperation. He smiled, and left to go and help her.