She sits at her desk, looking through the blind slates that cover the grimy windows. Rain pours making the room seem even darker than usual. She doesn’t stir to turn on the desk lamp, but continues to smoke her cigarette. Soft light from the hallway shines in through the frosted glass door. The ashtray is overfilled; she’s been sitting like this for a while. Lightning flashes and she waits for the thunder that is to follow. It shakes the windows, the storm is getting worse. The chair creaks as she leans to the side to stub out the cigarette. She picks up the scotch, takes a sip; it warms her, right to the pit in her stomach. She closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, turns back toward the room and looks around. Dark paneled walls with black and white photos of trees, animals, and water cover the walls. Pictures that Tom had taken, he was talented, and she could admit that much. A leather sofa in rich chocolate-brown pushed against one wall, no throw pillows. The desk is a gem, old, huge, wooden from a time when furniture was made to last several lifetimes. Its top was scared, proof of its life She traced these scars now with her finger. The phone rings, jarring her. She thought about letting the machine get it, but on the 3rd ring answered it. After several moments she hung the phone back up, pulled another cigarette from the pack, tapped it against the lighter, and turned back to the storm. It looked wild, angry, the wind whipping and the rain pounding the windows. The weather fit her mood, and she could sit in the chair for hours until she figured out what to do. All it would take is time, and patience which she had in abundance.


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