AN/ I've not updated this in like 1000000 years. Life does have a habit of getting in the way of anything fun. So if anyone is still even remotely interested in this, I'm sorry about the crazy delay. This is only a mini chapter and I'm working on the rest. Hope you like it. :)
The engine of Jeff's Lexus had been running for ten minutes, even though the vehicle was pulled up on the curb of a quiet residential street. Jeff took a final slurp of the watery dregs of the health drink he'd purchased on his way out of Greendale, and turned off the engine. He'd been on this stake out for over two hours, occasionally making a few laps of the block and returning to his parking space, more to give his fractious mind something to do than avoid looking suspicious. If anything, Jeff thought, the constant circling was making him more conspicuous. The curtains in the window of a nearby house twitched, and Jeff realised it was only a matter of time before a nosey neighbour came to investigate the unfamiliar vehicle.
He was about to lose his nerve and drive another three hours back to Greendale, when a large silver Toyota pulled into the empty driveway he'd been staring at. A woman got out of the driver's seat. She was dressed casually in jeans and a stripped t-shirt. She had dark brown, shoulder length hair and looked only a couple of years older than Jeff. The woman opened the trunk of the car and took out some bags, she wrestled with the keys in her hand for a moment, shuffling the bags and adjusting them to free up a hand. Relenting, she placed the bags on the ground and opened the back seat, leaning inside. Nothing for a moment, then the woman stood up straight and Jeff saw, through the gap between the car door and the driveway, two tiny feet drop down onto the concrete. His heart skipped beat. The feet, swaddled in navy and pink polka dot tights and crammed into shiny purple shoes, danced around on the grey concrete for a few moments, then vanished behind a fuzzy stuffed animal-Jeff couldn't make out exactly what- which fell to the ground. Little hands reached down to retrieve the toy and the feet trotted towards the edge of the car door. One more step and the feet had legs and arms, a body clothed in a denim pinafore dress and a head of rich brown hair, bouncing around in a tidy ponytail.
There in front of Jeff's eyes was a whole little person, skipping along behind her mother, with a spring in her step which Jeff was certain he recognised. His eyes followed the pair up the steps and lingered as the woman fiddled with the lock. The door swung open and Jeff caught a glimpse of a hallway to a family home: a jumble of shoes by the door, an interesting looking pot plant, a wooden floor which led towards a gleaming white kitchen. He even thought he could make out the poster paint splodges of a child's painting, pinned proudly to the silver refrigerator, but the door slammed shut, cutting him out before he could make up his mind.
Jeff leaned back against the leather seat of his car, his heart was pounding against his chest and he was shivering. He slammed on the engine and sped away.
It wasn't until he was halfway to Greendale that Jeff thought about Annie. I was already past Six, she would be expecting him home. He pulled into the parking lot of a roadside diner and sent her a quick text. COMPUTERS ARE PLAYING UP. HAVE TO STAY LATE TO GET WORK DONE. DON'T WAIT UP. XX
A neon sign crackled on and off from the wall outside. Jeff gazed at it through the windscreen. His phone buzzed. K, I'LL SAVE YOU SOME DINNER. DON'T WORK TOO HARD. WE LOVE YOU DADDY XX
A pang of guilt knotted his stomach.
What was he doing?
The neon sign crackled again and Jeff sped off into the night, back to Greendale and back to reality.