Before he went in, he knocked at the neighbour’s door. She opened it immediately, as though she had been waiting there behind the door for him, and then she ushered him inside with a wave. They walked down the hallway saying nothing, though at some point she took his hand and didn’t let go. They sat down at the kitchen table, which was bare except for a hammered metal fruit bowl which held letters, bills from the looks of them, and a couple of postcards. And an old watch face, which for some reason seemed familiar.
She asked him if he wanted to eat and he said no, but almost immediately he realised that he was not only hungry enough to eat but was actually ravenous. He counted the hours back since he had received the call and considered that he likely hadn’t eaten in two days. But the thought of sitting and eating without having visited his parent’s home first revolted him, and after a while he rose and, mumbling something, he stood up and left.
He stood outside his parent’s house for some time, occasionally approaching the door, but he didn’t open it. He had a feeling that he was being watched, but none of the blinds were up in any of the neighbour’s windows.
He opened the door. Inside everything was the same as he had remembered, more or less. Some books were in different places, and he thought, but wasn’t sure, that the vase of plastic flowers by the dining table was new, or at least the flowers were.
Nothing’s different, he said out loud, and his voice sounded shriller than normal in his ears. Nothing at all is different.
* * *
The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.