Chapter Three

Behind the Door


Her heart brimming with anticipation, the woman arrived at a row of small buildings, her gaze fixated on the house numbers given to her by the man she longed to meet.

Her steps came to a halt as she stood before an unlatched iron gate, finally finding the address he had shared — a four-storey sublet building.

The man had freshly shaved off his stubble and stood in the living room with blank, unfocused eyes. The silence enveloped him, with only an old-fashioned desk clock audible in the background - tick-tock-tick-tock. He is lost in his own world, his mind seemed elsewhere.

Gently pushing open the iron gate, the woman slowly made her way into the building. She looked up and saw a winding staircase that seemed to go on forever.

Step by step, she ascended each flight of stairs while her high-heeled shoes echoed through space, creating a rhythmic click-clack-click-clack.

Reaching the third floor, she found herself standing before a door bearing the number he had told her. Here it was — the place where their destinies would intertwine.

The woman took a moment to compose herself and took one deep breath.


The knocking shattered the stillness within. The man snapped back to reality and turned towards the door, then walked over slowly. Extending his hand towards the doorknob, he opened it gradually.

Outside there was no one.

Only a newspaper laid on the ground, tossed aside by a paperboy earlier.

The woman stood there for quite a while. No one answered the door at all.