He stands in front of the floor to ceiling picture window in the living room that faces the water. Being near the apex of the hill gives him a nearly unobstructed view of the river, the bridge and the rest of the city spread out before it. The glittering effect of the sun on the water is as picture perfect as the fluffy cotton candy clouds breaking the monotony of the azure sky above.
He does not see this.
The leaves are mostly green, but you can see the first of fall’s leaves on the lawns and sidewalks. A perfectly shaped, beautifully russet leaf lazily drifts from a tree in front of the brownstone to the street. Even this early in the season you somehow know autumn is going to show off in a blaze of glorious color at its peak.
It does not so much as invite a shrug from him.
Children play on the sidewalk or in front yards enjoying the last vestiges of the day. Their occasional high peals of laughter break the relative silence of the late afternoon. It is a good hour before the streetlights come on and another half hour at least before the sun noticeably sets.
He does not notice.
The gentle swish-swish, swish-swish of leaves brushing against a window is somehow rhythmic. It is the same gentle breeze causing the light curtains to sway in front of open windows as evening approaches. Somewhere down the block just out of the line of vision the happy tunes of an ice cream truck are heard.
But not by him.
He has stood by the picture window long after the brilliant red, gold and indigo of sunset have paved the way for the now diamond studded navy night. The grandfather clock in the front hall again chimes the passing hour. The stereo is just barely audible above the regular sounds of the house.
The only thing he has heard and continues to hear in his mind is click.
In reality, each click is no louder than of that of an old-fashioned typewriter key strike. For him each is as loud as a cannon blast.
The sound of stiletto heels clicking against a marble floor of the foyer as they walk out of the door and his life.