Muffled rain outside spun a muted backdrop and smoothed the staccato of the clock. He paced, though the movement was more contemplative than harried. All the same, it had stretched into the late hours of night before the brief flash of headlights swept the room and halted his movement.
The grounds were sodden. The car’s wheels caught twice in particularly deep and muddy potholes on the long drive towards the front door. Its driver was undeterred, speed unchecked as the vehicle bounced and sloshed to the house. She saw the front door swing in, a gaping blackness for a moment and then framing an emerging figure. She saw the familiar red checkered bathrobe and unkempt hair she knew so well as she pulled to a halt near the front steps.
He felt the pelting cold immediately – the rain was much nastier outside than the sound had suggested. The car had swerved to a stop next to the steps, nearly hitting them. She left the headlamps lit as she threw open her door and stood up unphased against the rain, turning to stare at him over the car top. Even in the dark of the night, he felt her piercing gaze in a flash of blue. One hand lay across the top of the car, her mouth slightly open, her coat unbuttoned. It was all there. It was exactly the same as last time.