Rated: E · Short Story · Thriller/Suspense · #1139326
Old woman waiting at home for her husband becomes endangered by a strong man.
Alona Winters, a 51 year-old retired choral director, waited alone for her husband Carl to come home from work. It was the night before their 35th anniversary. Lonely and anxious, she got up from her colorful reclining chair, passed their stained dark wood coffee table in the center of the living room, and walked to the window. She pulled the white curtains away and searched the ground. There was no sign of her husband. For many years Carl always was in the apartment by 7 o’clock but for the past few days he had worked late. She didn’t mind and assumed that it was for the money but she didn’t particularly enjoy being by herself at night.
The sky was navy blue with mists of gray clouds. There was little to no wind and the trees were deadly still. Alona leaned her frail body to the left to see the parking lot. A few cars were in the lot. Fortunately none of them blocked her view of the entrance over there. Nobody loomed around which got her worried. She had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach, one that said danger was coming.
Alona determined she was working herself up for nothing. All she needed to do was relax. She went back and sat on her recliner, putting her arms on the rest. Nervously, she tapped her fingertips on the chair. There was nothing to do except wait. Then she remembered she had a vase that she needed to clean incase she got flowers from Carl. The vase was abandoned on the end table next to the love seat which shared the same pattern as the lay-z-boy. She couldn’t help but think about the bad things that could have happened to her husband. The problem was that she didn’t even realize that it was her that was soon to be in peril.
Who could blame her for thinking that way? Although they’ve been married for such a remarkably long amount of time, neither has lost an ounce of love. In fact, they’re more fond of each other than ever. When the couple met they rushed their love and got married within eight months. Nobody expected it to last; she was Greek and he was Italian. His family never minded but in Alona’s family she was expected to marry another Greek. Plus, she was only sixteen. They had a wedding in New Jersey, were most of Carl’s family resided. Then after conflicts with members of her family they made the rash decision to move.
Alona’s intension was to hide not only from her family but from the truth. She didn’t tell her husband but there was another reason for their leave. She was having a baby. Ashamed of the predicament, Alona searched for a home and found a condo in New Jersey.
During the nine months of pregnancy, the newlyweds concluded that they weren’t ready to have a baby. When her baby was born, a boy named Stanley, they drove to an adoption agency and gave him away. They never saw or heard of him again.
Once the beginning and toughest chapter of their life was over, they gradually accepted what they’d done. Soon they became a joyful couple putting nearly all their love towards each other. Distantly, she felt their togetherness that night before their thirty-fifth anniversary.
While rubbing the flower vase with a cloth, Alona recalled the lullaby she sang before saying goodbye to her son. It was a Greek song that her mother would sing to her when she was young.
“hmm-mu-mmm… hmm-mum-mumm. Prostatevo hmmm,” Unintentionally, she hummed the song. Doing that kept her busy and she never felt scared when sing the song. It was said that it would protect you from harm. Little did she know that the saying was true.
She would give anything to see her son again.
Then the door knob jiggled and finally it opened. Alona had been so distracted she forgot to check outside for Carl.
“Oh Carl! You got me so worried waiting!” shared the old woman as she stood and turned behind her.
But it wasn’t Carl at all. A muscular man in his 30’s wearing a torn red T-shirt and blue jeans went to grab her. He missed but knocked her down. She fell hard onto the coffee table. The pain in her back was unbearable! It felt as if she had been snapped in half. But she rolled to her left and searched for something to hit him with. The first thing she saw was her most-valuable vase. Flinging her arm, she hurled it at his head. He blocked it but he stumbled on the rug and lost his balance. His forward motion made him fall in the direction of Alona. This was her chance to escape. With as much physical ability as she could she stood up. She felt a hand smack around her ankle, tripping her. He took hold of her and got out his pocket knife. In less than a minute the man had broken into her house and was threatening her.
“If you make any noise, I will slit your throat,” the man was breathing heavily. He hovered over her with the knife held out inches above her face. His hair was dirty and hung over his forehead. “Now tell me wear you keep your money.”
She had no choice but to comply. “In the closet you’ll find my purse. I-I keep it in there.”
He put her in a sort of choke by squeezing her neck in between his should her and his arm. Then he jerked her like a doll and pulled her over to the closet. With the hand that was holding the weapon, he opened it up and discovered that the woman wasn’t lying. Savagely he snatched the purse, letting go of Alona simultaneously. Struggling to breathe, she placed her hands around her neck and leaned back onto the other closet door. The man had trouble finding which compartment she kept her wallet in. He swear constantly while searching but could not find it.
“Which one?” he asked in haste.
Alona was just resuming breathing. “It’s the one inside the snapped compartment,” she paused to inhale, “There’s a zipper pocket that has my wallet.”
Then because she had nothing else to do, she prayed. Her prayer was done in Greek. She was scared and began to chant the Greek song of protection. Surprisingly, the robber stopped. He recognized the words.
“What are you singing?!” he snapped, “Stop it you witch!”
Deep inside her soul, she gathered strength. Not only did she keep singing, but she sang louder. Her beautiful notes filled the room. The man stared at her, mouth wide open, and did the unimaginable. He put her wallet down. Shaking his head from side to side, he listened intently.
“I’ve heard this before,” his remark was.
She gazed into his eyes for the first time. She saw a troubled child, deserted by his mother. But he needed guidance.
“Prostatevo.” he whispered.
The silence in the room could kill. Alona was crying softly. The man that was in her house was not a stranger at all. It was her son.
“How do you know my name?”
“I’m your mother Stanley,” she wiped the tears off her face.
He shook his head. “No. You can’t be. My mom got rid of me when I was just a month old. There’s no way you could and even if you were you wouldn’t be able to prove it.”
“But the song! You know the song.” She couldn’t believe how quickly she had assumed that it was her son. Of course it wasn’t logical. What was she thinking?
But the man just sat there. “What was your sons birthday?”
“March 10th, 1972.”
Neither knew what to do. Who could blame her? She’s making small talk with someone who tried to steal her money. The door to the apartment opened.
“I’m home!” Carl’s voice yelled.
The robber had to think fast. He looked over at Carl with puppy dog eyes.
“Alona! What’s going on in here!” he screamed.
“That’s my birthday,” Stanley said facing the father he never knew.
Later that night the three talked and cleared the record. They explained why they gave him away and Stanley told them all about his life. Since Stanley was having money troubles, among others, Alona and Carl chose to have him move in with them. They are now a family and doing better than ever.