The rain was pounding hard against the roof, the wind howling around the houses. He was sitting all alone at the large table, his head sunk into his hands, his eyes closed. The house was large and cold. The heating had broken last spring and now that it was winter, he sat shivering through the days, hoping that somehow, magically, it would start working again. Upstairs, the children’s bedrooms were empty and they seldom came to visit these days. They were far too busy with the jobs and trying to build a family of their own. His wife was long gone, taken from this world at a young age. It was not fair, he thought.
He kept hearing talking from upstairs. His wife, mostly, arguing with the children. Sometimes there were more voices, drowning out that of his wife and drumming inside his head.
He had run up the stairs whenever he heard the voices, but there was no one there. His age was tampering with his ears, but at least his eyes were still intact.
When he heard the voices swell to a louder level, nearly drowning out the storm, he felt like screaming and plugged his ears with his fists.
Then suddenly the rain was louder and he could feel a blast of air through the front door.
“I’m home, honey,” his wife’s voice called out to him, upbeat as always.