Olivia by Donna Sturgeon

Book: Olivia by Donna Sturgeon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donna Sturgeon
world of ‘important things.’ He would probably hop a plane in Omaha and fly out into the great unknown to make life-changing decisions for big companies who paid him more in a year than Olivia would earn in her lifetime. The wife watched as the taillights of the Lexus disappeared, and then she went back inside the townhouse that should have been Olivia’s. She shut out the world with a close of her bright red door with a grapevine wreath hanging perfectly in the center.
    Olivia remained rooted in the middle of the road and watched the townhouse, waiting for another peek at the life that should have been hers. Occasionally, a light went off or a light came on, and she caught sight of the Olivia-imposture through a window. One time, she was carrying a pudgy baby. Olivia felt her heart lurch. That should have been her baby, the one that would have started her two-point-five with Mitch. A boy she would have named after his father, a boy who would have been a football star at Juliette High. A boy who would have been a big brother to a vibrant little girl named Lily with blonde pigtails and a giggly smile.
    “Excuse me, ma’am?” a voice came from behind.
    She turned her tear-streaked face.
    A police officer stood beside his black and white with the lights flashing. She’d never heard him pull up, but there he was. Like magic.
    “Are you all right, ma’am?” he asked.
    In the strobes of red and blue, he looked more like a god than a man. He was strong and he was safe, but more, his blue eyes looked into hers as though he already knew every secret her heart contained. In one heartbeat, he read her every want, her every desire. He appreciated the fear and the turmoil storming through her soul. He accepted her every truth without judgment, without reproach. It was the spiritual comfort of those omniscient blue eyes that made her ask him the one question that had puzzled her all her life.
    “Why doesn’t the train whistle blow on this side of town?”
    “Excuse me?” He took a step closer to her.
    “The train whistle. It blows every eight minutes in South. Rain or shine, day or night, every eight minutes a train passes by and the whistle blows so loud it rattles the windows. But no matter how long I sit here, the whistle doesn’t blow. How come?”
    “Have you been drinking tonight, ma’am?” He took another step toward her.
    “Maybe it’s all the trees.” Olivia looked up at the leaf-laden branches swaying in the early morning breeze. As she slid off the scooter, the stuffed chicken fell out of the overflowing basket and landed on the road without a sound.
    “Ma’am?” He rested his hand on his gun.
    “It has to be the trees…”
    As though being pulled into a dream, Olivia walked toward the officer, and looked at him curiously. He kept his hand on his gun and their eyes locked together as she silently floated past him, their souls communicating in beautiful intonation.
    And then she blinked and the connection was gone, and she continued on by. She headed toward South and headed towards home and didn’t once look back.
    *  *  *
    Olivia slept the morning away. She would have gladly slept away her life, but the blaring of a car horn woke her up just past one o’clock in the afternoon. The trailer was hot, growing hotter by the minute with the afternoon sun beating down on it. She buried her head under her pillow and tried to ignore the sweat pooling in uncomfortable places on her body, but after ten minutes of smelling her own b.o. she couldn’t take it any longer and got up to turn on the air conditioner. As she adjusted the thermostat, she looked out the window, and saw her car sitting in her carport.
    She frowned in confusion and went to the door. Last she knew her car was still at Walmart. And, last she knew, it couldn’t drive itself. She peeked out the little window, but the road in front of her trailer was empty. She dared to open the door and stick her head out. Again, no one was there.

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