Hot cider and the Alexa speaker is set to play continuous rain sounds, a crack of thunder every so often to keep things interesting. The reading light has a new bulb and the couch was just cleaned of cat hair. Time to relax. There’s a knock at the door. Who knocks anymore? Instead of getting up to answer the door he checks his phone. He isn’t expecting anyone and there’s no “Here” text waiting to be read. There’s another knock. Another. The person on the other side of the door seems impatient.
The door handle starts to jiggle. The knocking is becoming more and more persistent. It sounds like someone is throwing a shoulder into the door. The cat hides under the coffee table, her eyes shut, she’s shivering. His heart his racing. His mind is going from horror movie clichés to medical dramas weeknights on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC. There must be an emergency!
Maybe it’s his neighbor? Wendy is elderly and may need help getting to the hospital. Perhaps it’s Wendy’s daughter, what’s her name? Wendy’s daughter may be too distraught to drive her mother to the hospital. Why not call an ambulance? Why not call an Uber? Why him? Why tonight? Everything is set up perfectly to finally sit down and read. Perhaps he’s being selfish.
Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.
It could be the kids down the street playing a trick, a new form of ding-dong-ditch that involves scaring the hell out of your neighbors for Youtube views. Youtube stardom doesn’t sound as good as a relaxing night with a new book. The book is a hard cover that hasn’t been opened yet. When he turns to the first page he’s going to hear that satisfying peel as the pressure is put onto the spine for the first time. The smell. Oh the smell is the best part.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
He fell into a trance thinking about the smell of new books. Whomever was on the other side of the door probably wasn’t a reader, because if they were, they’d know all about proper door etiquette in the year 2019. Always text, never knock. Don’t even think about knocking. The word knock should be removed from the dictionary.
“HOLD YOUR HORSES!”
The door creaks open, he’ll have to fix that. Hello?
The delivery driver is walking back towards his truck, a box resting atop his shoulder. Oh that’s right, his new laptop was arriving today. Why’d they come so late?
“I CAN SIGN FOR THAT!”