Today's scene takes place after: I am ... Clara.
"Clara ..." she seemed to be saying it again and again. "Yes. It is you, isn't it ..."
I felt my face turning scarlet.
"Yes. Hello." I nodded. I started extending my hand, but it seemed inappropriate. So much the wrong thing. But what was I supposed to do? I stood there, beads of rain dripping off of me. Rolling down to the wood floor.
"Come in, come in," she said. "Please."
The shift in her voice obvious. The words a common courtesy. Her gaze drifted to her daughter. Protective. Unsure.
"No, no. That's fine. I couldn't possibly ..." I trailed off. The wind slammed against the doors, echoing behind me.
"Please. Please. Do come in. The storm seems to be getting worse. You're free to wait it out here if you'd like."
"Thank you, I ... if I could just use your restroom ... I'll be on my way," I tripped over my words. It didn't surprise me, but I hated it just the same.
What the hell do you say to the woman who married the love of your life?
"Of course. Right this way." She motioned me to follow her back down the hall. "Is there anything you need?" I shook my head, pushing into the ladies' room with a force I didn't know I had.
I stood before the mirror. Sopping. My hair frazzled. Dripping around my face. Stupid rain. I fought back tears. This was a mistake. I should go. I needed to get out of there. Now. I needed to go now.
"I'm sorry to have bothered you ..." I turned the corner quickly.
She stood there, setting up for an event. Candles on the table, candlestick in her hand. Her hands shook. She hummed softly. I knew the pain in her eyes.
"Thank you for your offer. I should really be going."
She nodded. I watched her swallow hard. Her tears? Her emotions? The words she wanted to say?
"Jacob is at the library," she whispered, searching for words. "He had a session."
She was stronger, louder. Her voice returned.
"He should be back in a few hours. Feel free to come by."
I nodded. "That's not necessary. Thank you. Please give him my best."
We had reached an impasse. Smiling at one another, a short wave goodbye.
The little girl walked me back to the front door. She skipped. She sang. She looked up at me and smiled.
She had my eyes.
Candlestick, Scarlet, Library
That was pretty much it for this week's prompt at Write on Edge. This was my attempt at meshing it all together into one of my stories. It does not feel like my strongest work, and I almost didn't publish and considered writing a whole new post, but then I had a revelation and I adjusted the ending. It then felt okay to post. I hope you enjoyed.