He looked out of the window with depressed, sullen eyes. It was raining. The sky was gray, the air heavy, the ground wet, the trees bowing down to the weight of the heavens. “Shit weather”, he thought to himself. “Shit weather”.

Turning his attention back to his computer, he checked MSN Messenger and her facebook profile for the 128th time that day. He looked at her wall-posts, took a stab at cracking her password, again. No luck. He felt foolish, and quickly closed the browser. Wondering what she was doing right now, he played out scenario after scenario in his head, seeing her with another man, seeing her give herself to another. He could imagine her prancing about the mall, eyeing every man that gave her a second look. It was in her nature, he knew, but it made him uneasy nonetheless. And not just uneasy; at times, it infuriated him. Unable to reconcile his unrelenting love for her and, at the same time, her curiosity, her need to be everywhere at once, to know everything, to feel loved, was more than he could bear. Finding himself alone with his thoughts, buckling under the pressure of work and so close to the vacation he and her would be taking, he easily begin to conjure up grand delusions. Shifting his gaze, something outside of the window caught his eye.

It was her. She! His girlfriend, his lover, his fiancé, his soon to be wife, walking with another man! He had to see, he had to make sure! Was it her? Who was she walking with? But was that really her? No, it can’t be! He looked at the clock. It was 5:16 P.M, and she had just called him to tell him she was on her way home from work. What had he seen? Had he seen her face? Or only the back of her hair? He couldn’t be sure. He quickly grabbed his keys and his phone, and ran out into the rain.

Frantically looking around, he did not see one soul that evening, looking up and down the long street. He stood there, in the rain, contemplating what he had seen. Opening his phone, he called her. No answer. Staring at the picture of them two together, he looks with bewildered, confused eyes at the phone and wonders where she is. As he drags himself back into the house, he sees her car pull up, and she smiles at him. He does not return the smile. “Why didn’t you pick up the phone?” he asks. “I was driving, honey, and I was almost home. Besides, I couldn’t get to it”, she replies casually. He stares at her. Had he not just seen her car at the end of the road parked in another driveway? He wasn’t sure. They entered the house together, wet from rain. She spoke to him, asking how his day went. He answered, all the while thinking of what he had seen from his window. She suggested they go out for dinner that evening. Nodding his head in agreement, his eyes reflected the look of a man who had been stabbed in the heart by betrayal; he was sure of what he had seen. Her hair was down, just how he had seen it from the window. And she was too wet to have been in the car driving home, far too wet.

They went out to dinner together, at their favorite restaurant down the corner. On the way there, he saw her glance out of the window, to the house where he had seen her park her car. He was sure of it now, he had to be. She was keeping something from him, most likely she was with another man, letting him caress her body, letting him kiss her lips, letting him penetrate her – he gripped the steering wheel harder as they drove on. Walking into the restaurant, she glanced around, her eyes lingering on all the men in the room. Her look reflected a look of curiosity and interest, while he simply stood silent and watched her eyes, watched what she was doing. They sat down. Their waiter was a handsome young college student, whom she eyed for a surprisingly long time and flashed a smile to. She happily and flirtatiously gave her order, and the two immediately had big smiles on their faces. She watched him leave, all while his eyes narrowed, his fists clenched harder and harder, and the veins in his forehead bulged. She excused herself to the bathroom, and he followed. In the hallway leading to the bathroom, he saw her meet the waiter. He saw her touch him lightly, the smile, the look of desire, her lips reaching for his –

The phone rang. He looked at the time again: 5:17 P.M. Still shaking with rage, he picked up the phone, a frantic voice calling his name. The voice said he fiancé was in a car accident, and that she was now in a coma. He hung up and hurried out of the room, but not before taking another look outside the window. The sky was too dark to see anything, but he did see his own reflection. He saw his face still white from the fantasy. He saw his fists, still clenched. And in his eyes, he saw the fear, the desperation, the uncertain possibility that his fantasy had created. He blinked, and left the room to face the real possibility that the love of his life may not live through the night.

Many characters immerse themselves in invented worlds, sometimes exploring harmless fantasies.
Many, however, lose sight of reality.

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