Catherine sat on the window seat watching the rain and listening to Enya. And waited. He had said nine. He promised. She wondered about the time, knowing it was past that now, but not wanting to confirm how much past.
The water traced patterns in the grime on the panes and splashed down on the sill. Raising the window a crack, she reached her fingers through the opening to let the water trickle down over her hand. She touched her fingertips to her tongue and the wetness tasted slightly of brine.
Beneath the streetlight, a figure moved toward her building. Catherine pressed the glass for a better look. Her breath fogged the window and she swiped the moisture and peered through the smear. She strained to see, but the figure had disappeared.
Lifting her feet to the corduroy cushions, she tucked her legs against her chest. A scuff on the toe of her shoe caught her eye and she scraped at the edges of the nick with a thumbnail trying to smooth down the leather. Annabell, her white Persian, bounded onto the seat and marched around Catherine's feet and beneath the arch of her bent knees. Annabell humped her back and rubbed against the rough denim of Catherine's legs. Her purring vibrated over the sound of the music. Catherine pulled the cat close and ran a hand over the cashmere-soft fur. Annabelle looked at her as if to say: I know. I know. She soon bored with the human side of life and leapt from the cushions, landing silently as a broken promise, and wandered away.
Catherine folded her arms across her knees and made a pillow for her head. Her reflection stared back at her from the window. Occasionally a rain-slicked umbrella would trundle by and even fewer cars, their headlights blurred by the rain.
Suddenly the street turned half-dark. At midnight the town cut off every other streetlight to conserve energy.
And still she waited.