He opens the door, but no one is there. I don't know what he was expecting; the doorbell didn't even ring. It never rings.
George is always opening doors. Every kind of door; he opens trapdoors, bead doors, double doors and sometimes even barn doors. I have seen George open doors many different ways. For some he uses his right hand, others, he uses his left. I once saw him open a door by kicking it. He is quite clever about his door opening, creating all sorts of mechanisms and thingamabobs to do the job for him.
But today is different. Today George opens the door and leaves. He leaves without telling anyone, not his wife, not his dog, not even me. But I know, I always know.
George has left without telling anyone before. This time though, he doesn't come back. At least, he has been gone longer than any other time. He is out there in the bad place, opening doors, I'm almost sure of it. He normally does this when he leaves. But I am afraid. I'm scared that he will open a door and someone bad will be there. I did that once.
I don't open doors anymore. I might open windows, but only if it is absolutely necessary. Opening doors is getting more dangerous now. We don't know what to expect.
Three years ago, when I opened my last door, I was leaving. I wasn't going to come back. I didn't know George. He knew me:
I am leaving. I don't care what risks there are, anything will be better than this. I can be clever, I can be cunning, but I cannot sit here while she reads. Just there, rocking in her chair with a book. She hasn't spoken to me in a long time. I love her dearly, but I can only take so much. This is it. I'm leaving now. Here I go. Out the door. I can see it, all I have to do is get up, walk over there and open it. The rest will be inevitable. Once I open it, I have to leave. I can't just stand there at an open door looking stupid. If I can just get over there I can leave. She doesn't need me here, I have to go.
Okay, I am up. Left, right, left, right, left, right. Slip on my shoes, I can't leave without my shoes. Okay, now my coat. For that, I need to go to the closet door. Okay, I am almost there, after this I will leave. Gone. Coat and then I'm gone.
I opened the door, but no one was there. I wasn't expecting anything; there wasn't even a doorbell. But that is no surprise; they never have doorbells. I used to open doors. I only opened two kinds of doors. I opened doors to houses and doors to closets. I used to open windows too, but I didn't think they counted. Windows used to be safer than doors. They aren't anymore.