• mariokiefer

Relief

When writing, he sat at his computer in the office that faced the front of the house. The desk was set in such a way that he could look through the window and see movement on the street. It was this setup that enabled him to see the deer that often crossed through his yard, to know when the mailman came, and to see the UPS or FedEx deliveries as they approached his door. Sometimes, he drew inspiration from something he saw through that window. Like this morning; as he saw the leaves fall from the tree, he used that in the scene he was writing.

He was toiling away at this scene, when from outside that window he caught a glimpse of the uniformed man approaching. His initial thought was, “I don’t usually get deliveries on Sunday.”


He looked up from his work for closer inspection. The shiny badge and the gun strapped to the man’s side were dead giveaways that this was no ordinary delivery.


Quickly, he looked around his office for any tell-tale signs of illegal activity, then laughed aloud at himself. There was nothing for the policeman to find, after all. It’s not like he was some hardened criminal living in a den of thieves. Then his heart fell from his chest as he realized that his other half was out running errands and the roads were slick from last night’s rain

.

He rose from his chair and opened the door just as the officer reached up to knock, and his mind wandered immediately back to the last time he had opened a door to find a police officer standing there.


It was no longer a sunny morning in autumn. Now, it was dark and thunder sounded from far away as rain pelted the walkway and the officer at the door huddled beneath the eave of the porch. It was that blustery night some thirty years before. It was that rainy night when the officer told him his life had changed forever. Twenty years It had taken to get over that loss; twenty years of unrelenting pain; twenty years of avoidance, twenty years of making one bad decision after another. He was not at all certain that he could do it again. Did he even have another twenty years to give? He felt the sharp crack in his heart.


‘No,” he thought to himself, “God could not be so cruel as to do this to me twice.”


When the officer spoke it was to ask about a car that had been parked a few houses down for the last week seemingly abandoned. With those words, the night receded and the sun returned. It was morning once again, and relief flooded his soul as he and the officer engaged in friendly chat about that car before the officer went on his way.


He closed the door behind him and returned to his computer. He picked up his phone called his partner, but there was no answer. He left a message. “I love you,” was all he said.


Even as he turned back to his writing his eyes were damp. Did they glisten from the memory of what once was, or did they glisten from the fear of what could be?


He saw the blue truck when it entered the driveway and watched his partner exit the vehicle. He felt the crack in hs heart close back up.


It was then that his tears flowed.

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