"I just can't do this anymore," I heard myself muttering aloud as I battled the wind to walk down several streets to find myself standing outside the synagogue. Waiting. Waiting for what? For Jacob to come out and see me? Recognize all we'd lost? All I let slip away before it had the chance to turn into something more? Jacob. I needed to see him. I had to go in.
I stepped slowly. The stairs were glossy and slippery in the rain. My shoes were not meant for this kind of weather. And my heart was not ready for such a fall. But I went. I walked up the steps and opened the door.
Silence greeted me from the other side.
"Hello?" I whispered, as one tends to do in a place of worship. "Is anyone here?"
The quiet seemed to break with a whisper of a song. Was that a child singing?
A young girl peeked her head from around the corner, giggling. I smiled, waved, maybe. "Hi," I said. She ran off. I looked around, taking small steps as I followed her. "Hello?" My voice halted, still soft, but stronger now. Waiting to be heard. "Is there anyone here?"
Song again broke through the stillness. The voice rose with a passion. Strength and power. I paused, squinting. It was beautiful. Breathtaking, almost. And then it was gone. Stopped.
A woman came out from around a corner, the little girl hiding behind her skirt pleats. "Can I help you?" she asked, wiping her hands on the towel she held between them. She smiled at me pleasantly. The voice. It was her voice. Of course.
"Is Rabbi Cannon in?" My voice cracked as the words tumbled out. She shook her head.
"He's not, I'm sorry. But can I be of assistance?"
"And you would be ...?" I asked, fully knowing the answer.
"Oh, forgive my manners. I'm Abby. Mrs. Cannon. The Rabbi's wife." She smiled, extending her hand to greet me. I responded with a gentle shake. His wife.
"A pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Cannon." The words caught in my throat. "I'm - uh - terribly sorry to bother you. I thought I would see if he was here. It's no. It's nothing urgent. Another time ..." I trailed off, flinching. I turned, heading to the hallway I had just ventured through. Thanks so much."
"Wait." She followed me, her daughter's eyes watching us the whole time. "You're Clara, aren't you?" She whispered my name. The song gone from her voice. My eyes must have given me away. I smiled gently.
This excerpt picks up immediately after the most recent post I shared about Clara here. Her story flashes back and forth between the present day (sort of - for the character) and her memories from many years ago. We are back in the present. Try to stay with me, it's definitely rough to do without the surrounding sections. The Write on Edge prompt this week was about music, more specifically "Show us how your character reacts to a piece of music". I hope to have done that here. Constructive criticism is always welcomed.