“You wife’s passed away.”
The cigarette that’d been dangling from my lips finally takes that final leap, falling until it hits the stone walkway. My brown-eyed gaze travels with it, taking in the black ashes speckling the light tan of the sidewalk cement. I’d been on my way home from the school, my last class having just let out.
A large stack of essays and an old, worn copy of The Raven is waiting for me at home. That, and my wife. The wife that is always waiting at home, standing in our closet of a kitchen, gazing out the dirt encrusted window; or, perhaps, she’d be there, sitting in her scarred wooden rocking chair, looking out the front window, egg shell white drapes held back by a rusted screw she’d put in the wall. If she isn’t there, I’d find her upstairs, in our bedroom where the clothing is always littering the floor in haphazard heaps, and the sheets are rolled and balled at the end of the bed from the previous night’s sleep. She wouldn’t care about that, the mess seemingly invisible as she gazed out the window.
I thought as I reach into the navy pockets of my suit.
I supposed she was never there. Not for a long time.
“Let me guess,” I say, as I pull the crushed packet from my pocket, taking the last cigarette from its container; I made a mental note to buy more on the way home. I cover the thin, bringer of death with my hand as it dangles from between my lips where its comrade had lived moments ago. The flick of my lighter echoes between the cop and me. “The neighbor saw her hanging from the window.”