Maggie May I?
by Anna Lenardson
Maggie leaned against the sink and shut her eyes against the darkness. Imprinted on the lids she saw the negative image of the lone tree on the hill outside her farmhouse window that had been illuminated by the flash of lightning seconds before. "Alone, like me," she thought.
Only the tree stood strong, complete. For twenty years she'd watched it grow, imagining a swing beneath its branches, imagining the face of her curly headed little girl, imagining her laughing brown eyes . . .
The atmosphere was heavy with expectancy and far off flashes of lightning made promises that the night would fulfill.
Maggie too was waiting, but for what, she didn't know. It had been two decades since Jason had left her, taking her baby girl and clearing out. And she didn't expect him back. Not really. Not that she blamed him.
"O God", she cried, "How long do I have to pay for my mistakes?"
She wished she was brave enough to end it ... or hopeful enough to keep going.
Another flash made her jump and she heard a rapping on the door. Surprised, she dried her hands on a towel and made a quick, furtive swipe at her eyes as she walked toward the door. She flipped on the light and lifted the corner of the lace curtain that covered the four-paned window. She looked down into an upturned face with laughing brown eyes and her eyes swam as she fumbled with the lock.
Are you Maggie Saunders?” said the young woman standing on the porch. “May I come in?