Of course, there was just as much ice inside herself as she tried to prepare herself for the unthinkable. What would he look like now? Would he know her? Would he care? Had it all just been a bad dream now?
Funny, she hadn't exactly thought of it as a complete nightmare as she looked back on it. But still it had brought back a nausea that she wished to forget. Almost. It had been wrong. Completely. And yet it was he who had taught her everything about herself. It was a bitterness that just oozed now like an open wound when she thought about it. Or maybe it was what Crystal really knew. Not herself. Maybe. She didn't want to think about Crystal. None of it really, but here she was about to face the eye of the storm.
She would ring the doorbell. But when she pushed it. Nothing happened. It wasn't working. How angry she was then. This one little thing to keep her from meeting fate. Emily's heartbeat tightened. All she could hear was her heart starting to race. Perhaps to expire, for all she knew.
She gritted in a solemn frown then and started beating at the wooden screened in door like a mad woman. She needed some answers. Now.
But nothing happened. Nothing stirred inside. No one moved behind the thick curtain. It was maddening when the harsh reality sat in that no one was home. No one. Emily blinked back tears that only warmed her face. This couldn't be.
Her luck he was on a nice beach in sunny Florida with a sweet family who knew nothing of this. It was just a ghost of some kind now. Now wasn't it? She took in a breath of foreign air. She felt so tired now. A headache perhaps from the cold. It was all so sad here. Possibly, a warm day in Siberia, but that was no help to her. She still felt weak and a twinge of despair tingled through her veins.
She'd just have to wait, she told herself. Someone lived there. They had to. Someone had to know something. She turned then. Perhaps twisting on ice. A dance with death even. She slipped and fell down the icy cement steps.
Emily laid on the icy sidewalk. She didn't move. She wasn't sure which hurt worse. Her bum. The back of her head or just her pride.
How would she get up without falling again? She'd take her time thinking about it. Although, she highly doubted anyone would witness this stupid yet frightful scene. Here she wanted to wait. Yet for what? Really? She took her time thinking it over. What to do next, but the next thing she knew someone was looking down at her. Not familiar to her at all.
"What's this? Isn't it a little early for the census bureau to be out yet. Not quite January, is it?" He looked at her oddly. She was certain he wouldn't help her up, but finally he did. Awkwardly they slipped and slid on the ice, but he held her up.
"Sorry," she heard him say a bit under his breath, "but you know it'll just snow again, and really just hadn't been up to salting the place." Gingerly, he went up the steps and unlocked the place. "Well, what is it? What could you possibly be trying to sell on a day like today." He motioned her to come in.
Emily stood there startled.
"Must we? Stand out here and get frost bit?" He looked at her a little stern as if he didn't have time for this. He went back down to help her up the steps. Emily didn't know what to say. What if she was walking into a trap? It could be awful.
The place had stacks of magazines and newspapers everywhere. Clothes about. Not a clean dish in sight and a cat that yelped at Emily's feet.
"Hush, Tybalt." He looked mad at the Maine coon who ran up the stairs. He went to clean out the empty cup on the floor in the kitchen and filled it with water and put it in the microwave. She followed him there watching him reach in the fridge for a carton a milk that he drank from.
"Well, what is it?" He looked a bit grim that he honestly didn't care if she was here. Didn't even ask her her name.
"I'm looking for, for someone." She took a deep breath.
"Well, I figured as much." He almost grinned but reached for a pack of cigarettes then and slid one in the corner of his lip while he put some instant coffee in the hot cup of water and handed it to her. "I kind of doubt its me." He just shrugged getting the milk back out again in case she needed it. "Pardon the mess, its been a hell of a Christmas, you know. No time for it." He looked around at the clutter. "Why not have Christmas in the middle of January. Some other time." He sighed then and lit his cigarette.
Emily looked around too, wondering what had happened here. It was all so sad, and quite dim as she squinted. "I'm looking for Scott."
"Scott?" He practically blew smoke in her face. "Oh, Scott." He took another drag off his cigarette and nodded.
Emily sat down to the cup of coffee, wondering if she should drink it. She poured a bit of milk in it.
"I'm Scott's brother," he then said. "Archie." He rubbed his bottom chapped lip. "I'm afraid you just missed him."