I wrote this in 20 minutes before Bone generated the words or whatever he does. They fit well.
She paced. It was 60 steps to the end of the living room. 58 steps going back. She could never figure that out. 32 steps if she paced the width either way. The room was large. She and Rick had been so happy when they found this huge Tudor house in Forest Hills Gardens. It was perfect. Unlike their friends they didn’t want an apartment in the city. Rick’s inheritance paid for the house.
They had married the weekend of their college graduation. It was wonderful to have a real home to go back to, after the South Pacific honeymoon.
Corrina was hardly aware of her surroundings. The recently upholstered lush hot pink velvet couch with a drop leaf oak table behind it, soda bottle topped coffee table Rick had made for her years ago in front of the couch. Mismatched colored wood chairs, they had stripped and painted, a burgundy velvet love seat that should have have clashed with the couch but didn’t, one wall filled with light wood book shelves, bay windows with a window seat, a wood burning fireplace she hadn’t lit in two years. She saw none of this. Nor did she feel the cool terrazzo tile floor.
She paced back and forth. The night was warm. She could have taken a walk. She could have paced through the other rooms but instead she paced in the living room. It was her comfort zone, she guessed. It reminded her of days, just yesterday it seemed, when the room would be filled with people enjoying themselves.
She wished she had the patience to read a book or watch TV in the TV room. Everybody had assumed they were going to fill the house with kids. In college they had dreamed of having four children. After grad school, they had been so immersed in their careers, traveling, the house and mostly each other, their lives felt full. There was always tomorrow.
Each week they would find another reason to have a party. Friends and family would ring the doorbell, or call ten minutes in advance. They knew if Corrina and Rick were home they were usually welcome. Corrina had thought of putting a green sign on the door if they were available, red if they wanted to be alone. Rick actually made one.
Rick had done the cooking, and would set the food out on table. Corrina was good at arranging. No, really Rick was, but people assumed she had to be good at something but mixing drinks and talking. Drinks and tapas would be set on the coffee table and little tables next to the chairs. Family parties and large dinners happened in the dining room. In fine weather the parties would take place on the deck off the dining room.
So many parties. So many people had laughed, ate, talked about everything and nothing over the past 20 years.
Corrina had told her friends not to come tonight or any night recently. They were all worried about her. She didn’t need sympathy. She needed laughter, and that would never happen. Not now. Maybe someday in the far off future but she really really couldn’t imagine that. If people weren’t going to fill the room with happy laughter, she wanted quiet. Even Asta, the Terrier had learned to bark quietly. She hadn’t known Asta was capable of quiet.
The phone rang. The noise jarred Corrina. She answered in a whisper. It was the assistant district attorney. The jury was coming in. In 45 minutes she would find out whether Rick’s murderer was found innocent or guilty. For the first time she looked at the couch. She had found his body there. For five minutes she had stared quietly in disbelief. Then she screamed so loudly neighbors came running.
Corrina called for a taxi. She didn’t trust herself to drive the quick ride from the Gardens to the courthouse. Though she didn’t believe in the death penalty, she felt something slightly resembling happiness picturing the murderer, she could never think of by name, burning in Hell.