Snakes and Pills

154 - accidents

Russell heard the sound of footsteps. Was it so late in the evening already? He couldn't believe that his attention had been so diverted that he had nearly forgotten the best part of the day.

He ran to his front door, momentarily forgetting whatever he had just been working on. There would always be time for other things later, but what he had now existed but for a brief moment. He lined his right eyeball up with the peephole on his apartment's door, and closed his other eye. He wished both eyes could take in the sight, but the peephole was only so big.

Russell was not too late. Staring out through the fisheye view, he saw them. The two sisters, his neighbors, returning home from their work. They were secretaries at H.P. Mattinghouse, as their prim and proper attire suggested. He smiled as they moved into the center of his field of view, their features now distorted the least by the lens.

The two women were engaged in conversation. Russell did not take too much interest in what they were talking about. Rhonda, the older of the two, was complaining about how a problem with the Photostat machines had caused a huge backlog. Lily stood by her sister's side, mostly just nodding in agreement and adding in the occasional, "I know, I know."

A situation like this was especially fortunate, Russell thought. It had happened only a handful of times before. They would stop and stand at their own front door, talking, as if they didn't want to carry the conversation into their home. Thus, they would resolve it before they crossed the threshold, and much to his delight, this meant he had even more time to watch the two beauties.

He wasn't sure how much time had elapsed. He simply allowed himself to enjoy the moment. It always seemed to be over too quickly. Rhonda and Lily's conversation was wrapping up, and Rhonda started digging in her bag to summon her keys. He knew his time was finished.

But then, a second miracle occurred. Rhonda looked up from her purse and asked her sister, "Do you have your set of keys? I can't find mine."

Lily shook her head. "I always leave them at work unless I know I'm going to need them." Rhonda gave an exasperated sigh. "Well, I don't know what happened to mine. We might have to go back and get yours."

Russell could hardly believe his luck. Not only had this little search for the keys added time to his observations, but if they left, it meant they would come back. Russell would have a chance to peer out upon them again today. He felt like today was Christmas and his birthday, all rolled up into one glorious celebration.

Lily looked around, in a futile attempt to find another solution to their dilemma. Something grabbed her attention, as Russell saw. Her face seemed surprised. "What is that?!" she asked her sister, grabbing her by the arm. Lily pointed her finger right towards Russell's door. Rhonda jumped back in shock.

He wondered, was there something on his door? A large spider?

Rhonda replied to her sister, "Oh my god! Somebody is watching us!"

Russell felt his face flush red hot. Could they see him? No, impossible! Peepholes don't work both ways. His heart raced as both sisters suddenly seemed to be gazing directly at him.

"He is! He's watching us!" Lily confirmed, raising her shrill voice. Russell was now trembling with fear. He felt exposed. He felt helpless. He started backing away from his door.


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