The Woman At The Window

Each night the woman sat at her second floor bedroom window. She loved staring out into the darkness. She always did this before going to bed. After a long day she would gaze down at the street, stars, everywhere, because the night was different. During the day things were hectic and noisy. Nights were peaceful and serene. Her husband never chided his hard working and loving wife: whatever made her happy. If sitting at the window at night brought her comfort that was fine with him.

One night as she scanned her and the neighbor’s front yard including the evergreen bushes that divided their two properties, an oddly shaped shadow caught her attention. Something wasn’t right. The end bush, which lay in shadow from the streetlight across the street, appeared altered from the night before. It was larger.

She leaned in, straining her eyes. Was something there? Was she imagining things? Should she wake and tell her husband? She sat very still in her darkened room and waited. It felt like forever, but was merely minutes. Could the larger shadowy shape be a crouching figure hiding there? Instinct kicked in. Better to be safe than sorry.

She woke up her husband. Slowly and still groggy from sleep, he finally came over and took a look. But there was nothing there but shadows. She relayed what she had seen. Her husband had never seen his wife so upset. She was convinced someone had been there and was concerned for the safety of their neighbor, who often came home very late with cash receipts from his store. Trusting his wife’s instincts her husband promised to go to the neighbor’s house and repeat his wife’s story to at least warn their neighbor to be on the lookout just in case.

Another hectic day passed and the woman sat at her window in the dark staring out once again. She sat in relative silence feeling better about warning their neighbor. Had she just imagined that moving shadow? This was such a safe, peaceful, and quiet neighborhood. But then her breath caught. There it was again: that moving shadow behind that same bush. Something was definitely there. Before she could react, a familiar car drove up the street and turned into the driveway next door. Her neighbor. Her eyes darted back to that bush. The shadow moved. Her eyes shot back to her neighbor’s car, as a police car pulled up and a scuffle ensued.

The next day her neighbor couldn’t thank her enough for warning him to be on the lookout. Her instincts were right. That moving shadow she’d seen behind the bush wasn’t the wind ruffling the branches, but an armed man waiting to rob him.

That woman, my mother, always loved sitting at her window staring out at night…

With Sam, the female sleuth in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, I continually stress, trust your instincts. Let them guide you. You know yourself better than anyone else. When something doesn’t feel right, don’t be complacent. Do something. Pay attention to your inner voice. Let that guide you. I did in my memoir, The Rivera Is Burning.

Remember, everyday is a blessing. Don’t take any of them for granted.

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3 Responses to The Woman At The Window

  1. Pat says:

    Ms. Edelheit, I loved this….I, too, look out the window for solitude and peace during the night. This would have moved my instincts, too. Some people are just quiet heros preventing “what could have happened”….. Wonder how your mom felt the next morning and the neighbor’s response. A woman’s instinct led to an arrest….not unfamiliar.

  2. Doane Eler says:

    Another wonderful story by Ms Edelheit. So many feelings and visuals in such a short piece. You can feel yourself in the picture and experiencing first the peace and then tension. Well Done! Good neighbors are a true blessing.

  3. Terri says:

    A beautifully written story with wise advice….thank you!!!

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