She sits by the door, ear pressed against it, waiting to hear footsteps approaching. They’ve been gone for countless days now; surely someone will be back soon.
Hours pass, and it is now dark outside. When she is tired, she lies flat on the floor, her ear still pressed to the door.
She closes her eyes and sleeps:
She is walking down a tunnel with bare, gray walls and a high ceiling she cannot see. The corridor is dark and narrow, but she is not afraid. She knows this is leading her to a specific place, though she doesn’t know which place that is.
She walks for minute after minute and doesn’t find anyone crossing her path. There are no doors on either side, just the stretching, dark walls purposefully leading her somewhere.
More minutes pass, and she is growing tired. Sweat starts to trickle down her neck, and small panting sounds come from every breath. She is walking on, walking farther; there must be an end coming up ahead.
There is. Far away in front, barely distinguishable, is a bend in the corridor. This must lead to where she is going, this right turn in the tunnel.
She quickens her pace, nearing the bend as fast as she can. Soon, she has reached it.
She turns right to follow the new path of the tunnel. In her earnest walk, she scrapes her arm against the corner of the wall. Small beads of blood spring up …
Then her eyes fly open as she hears the footsteps coming down the hall. She realizes that the floor is cold and sits up, pressing her ear against the door once more. She listens closely and can then tell it is he who is coming back. His steps are deliberate, heavy, and brisk.
She waits in complete silence, her breath caught in her swollen lungs. How she wanted it to be he who would return.