Euclid Street passed beneath his feet in alternating stretches of shadowy concrete and jaundiced sodium light; the latter spilling from the high, night begrimed bulbs of street lamps tall, thin and increasingly few and far between as The Corner Store grew dim behind him. 61 Euclid St. - the address he currently shared with Darby and, formerly, Ginny - faded into sight.
The porch light was on, a small and naked bulb bravely shining all 25 of its watts at the big night. The motion detector at the front door had been tripped, apparently, at some point during the past 5 minutes. A cat had set it off, no doubt. Maybe a raccoon.
But at this quickly diminishing distance Gordon could see that nothing so ordinary had triggered the light. There was a small square, of paper perhaps, outlined faintly against the door where none had been before. Drawing closer, curiosity driving him now instead of entropy, he saw that it was, in fact, a note - a pale blue Post-It stuck to the door with a lick of Scotch tape. And recently, too, as the light had not yet timed out.
Creaking up the porch steps, Gordon saw his own name on the paper. The familiar hand - bold, precise lines defining each word - was hardly a surprise after his identification of the Post-It, itself. Ginny was never without at least one pad of the sticky notes in her bag, her pockets, even her socks on one occasion as Gordon recalled, a rather wistful grin playing for a moment between his mouth and eyes.
Gordon (he read)
Just as well you're not home, I'm sure. I came for some
stuff, personal, upstairs in the closet. Do us both a favor - throw it in a bag and leave it by Turtle Rock 'round back. I'll send Rebecca by to pick up.
Entropy reasserted its inexorable hold upon him. But not before he stole a few anxious, hopeful, glances around the porch and surrounding yard, dimly illumined at the edge of the feeble light. Of course she was gone. And not unlike many instances from their seven months together, he had missed her by only a matter of moments.
Tearing the note from the door, he read it a second time. Just as well, indeed, he thought. What would he have done, what might he have said, had they chanced to meet at the front gate, the night coming down around them?
Gordon sighed, stuffed the note into his pocket. As he pulled his key out around the crumpled blue paper, the dim bulb above his head clicked abruptly off. . .
2005, Richard Cody