Lover Crows

She used to borrow his jacket all the time, when he had one on him. He knew she hated the cold and much as she knew she hated the cold. He never minded it, and she'll never understand that about him. But he isn't here to loan her his jacket now, and she doesn't own one.

Would it be too weird to drive over to his apartment to get one? This is what she thinks as she's driving in the car.

The wind is blowing sharply and its mind numbing, not to mention finger numbing. She pulls up to the gate and puts in the password. She can't remember the actual numbers for her life, but her fingers know where to go. It creaks open and she pulls in.

As the car reaches his apartment block, she almost turns around and almost hightails it out of there. It's late, the kids are there. She doesn't want to give them the wrong idea, because Mommy and Daddy are not getting back together because Daddy is an immature child and Mommy is too uptight for her own good.

Dammit, jacket, jacket, jacket.

The wind is whipping through the brush and stirring the air. It cuts into her very bones and she stands outside her car, wondering if it would carry her away.

She finally begins to move towards the block. He lives on the third floor. Apartment 24B and it had never seemed farther away.

On her way to the stairs she sees the pretty red haired woman who is obviously infatuated with her ex-husband. Devon, she thinks. Way to young, way to oblivious.

She smiles briefly and flees up the first flight of stairs so as to avoid actually speaking to the woman; she knows if she does it'll just sound awkward and forced.

The steps are concrete and slick. Her shoes skitter along them like a colt taking its first skittish steps in the world.

Stumble, trip, stumble, fall.

She lands hard on her knee and she bites the inside of her lip to keep from crying out in pain. She knows Devon hears her and she's glad she decided to ignore it.

She pulls herself off, dusts off her jeans, and keeps moving, this time grabbing onto the sub-zero handrail. Her fingers go numb and purple.

She should ask for gloves while she's there.

She makes it up the second flight of stairs and stands at the landing, staring up into a rabidly darkening pit. His apartment is up there. The kids are up there. Her jacket is up there.

Dammit.

She moves a bit faster now, puling herself up, this time only stumbling once. She makes it to the end and spots the familiar ugly olive colored doors with the chipped paint.

As she approaches she wonders deliriously if anything lives in the spider web cracks and if she'll disturb it by knocking.

She shakes her head, it's just the cold.

She raps her red and white knuckles against the door once, sharply yet softly. She knows he hears.

She can almost see him pulling himself off the coach and shambling towards the door, contacts taken out, eyes bleary at the hour and hair a mess.

He pulls it opened and just stairs at her.

She wonders when they both got to so old.

Webs of wrinkles trace around his mouth and face, and a pair of crows have landed on his eyes.

A pair of lover crows, she thinks absent mindedly.

He seems to be examining her too.

Finally she speaks.

"You have my jacket."