He stood watching out of the front window, his mind blank. He didn’t know how long he had been staring when he came back to himself.
“What am I doing here?” he said to himself.
He thought about her, about the argument. She’d been missing since the afternoon before. The last thing he could remember was that she’d come home from work and they’d argued. His memories were hazy but he knew she must have left in a temper. At the very least she wasn’t around all afternoon and still hadn’t returned. She’d be back, though, he knew she would. Watching out of the window wouldn’t help, the watched pot effect and all. She was most likely at work anyway, given the time of day.
He headed towards the kitchen to get a snack, but for some reason stopped himself and walked towards his little office instead.
“What’s this doing here?” he asked, looking at the shovel leaning against the wall at the entrance to his office.
Frowning at the tool he grabbed it and headed towards the back door. Did she bring it into the house? It didn’t make sense. Just as he was about to go out back to put the shovel in the shed something caught his eye. It didn’t register, just caused a blinding flash of pain to rip through his head. He threw the shovel down and went back to his home office. He had work to do. He settled into the chair, and his head filled with the accounting figures. It was bad, very bad, but he should manage. He wasn’t sure how, as the red figures where a number several times larger than the value of the house and business. But he always came up with something. Always.
He was ripped away from his work by a sound. He’d been hearing it off and on all day. Something in his brain realized it was her cell phone. Why did she leave her phone? That was very unlike her. The cell was in the kitchen, on the counter. He’d have to check it. He got up and went to the front window, avoiding the kitchen without realizing it. He stood and stared, his mind once again blank.
The house phone rang again, as it had been doing off and on for a while. He recognized her work number. Why would they be calling, wasn’t she at work? Odd. The call went to voice mail. He shrugged and returned to the window. The phone started ringing again. Maybe something happened to her at work. He went back to the phone, but it was her sister’s number. Why would her sister call the house and not her cell? A vague recollection of her cell on the floor, her sister’s panicked voice heard through the small speaker saying over and over, “Are you OK? What’s going on? Are you OK?” He remembers hanging it up and putting the phone on the kitchen counter. Weird.
He went back to his office, avoiding the kitchen and the back window, the back door, the incongruous splashes of color not registering. He sat down and pulled up the accounting software again, but his head was filled with her voice. He didn’t even remember what they’d been arguing about, only that it had been going on for a few days before the final explosion the day before. She was so always unreasonable! But where was she? He was getting worried.
He was pulled back out again by the sounds of sirens. He got up to go to the front window to see where they were going. His mind ignored the trail of blood to the back door and the gory kitchen. The flashing lights turned into his drive. He walked to the back window.
His mind didn’t see the freshly dug dirt covering a hole the perfect size for a body. He didn’t see the blue uniformed men rushing to the excavation. He was only dimly aware of the knocks at the door, followed by voices and footsteps.
A heavy hand came down on his shoulder. He turned, his eyes unseeing.
“Are you home at last? Where have you been all night?”