Without thinking, he pulled on some clothes and wandered out into the streets of Kloskee. The sun-baked town retained its warmth in twilight and the skeletons of unfinished skyscrapers surrounded him like the bars of a cage. He felt a great weight pressing down on him, something like the entire world.
In truth, Eleanor was his entire world. He never really cared that much about himself. Everything he did since meeting her was to make her happy and comfortable. How could she not see that? If she had that baby, she wasn’t the only one who was at risk of death. If she died, he would sink into that gray existence that he’d known most of his life. Now that he knew how sweet life could be, he didn’t want to go back.
Tom walked around the town with no direction and he walked until his legs burned and his mouth was dry. He walked until he couldn’t anymore and he found himself in Kloskee Park. He sank into a wooden bench under yellow lamplight unable to think about anything. It was a nice break from his worries.
The full moon shown bright and pink overhead, perched amongst the many stars in the night sky and occasionally obscured by lazy clouds. He let the serenity of his surroundings wash over him and he reveled in it. In the silence of night, he could just be.
No. That wasn’t normal for Kloskee. At any moment there would be something to listen to. There were cicadas and crickets and nightjars and he couldn’t hear a single one of them. He couldn’t hear anything at all.