by Foster Trecost

Roxie lowered the binoculars and turned to her husband. Last week it was hypnosis; the week before, an intimacy clinic. And now binoculars, the latest far-fetched method that seemed further-fetched than the others. Still she played along, unsure if the reason stemmed from a desire to repair their relationship, or perhaps to find just cause in case they couldn't.

“It's not working,” she said. “I don't see anything.”

“That's because you're looking out the window. You're supposed to look at me.”

The office had only one window, barely a barrier to some things, not at all to others. It reminded Roxie of herself; some things she could block out, but not everything.

“He's right,” said another voice. “Use the field glasses to feel close, while keeping a safe physical distance.”

She pulled the binoculars back to her eyes and looked close-up at the man across the room, but could see nothing but the man across the room.

“You need to pluck your eyebrows,” she said.

“Focus,” said the other voice, “not on what anybody can see, but on what only you can see.”

So again she trained the binoculars on her husband. She focused and she concentrated, and managed to get past herself, and soon saw something past him.

What she saw was a young woman crouched in a corner, tears smeared across both cheeks. Her window was letting in too much and Roxie lowered the binoculars, but returned them after a few seconds. A hand offered itself and though mistrust ran rampant, the young woman took it and was helped to her feet. Seconds later she was struck again, and fell back to the floor.

When the binoculars left her hand, Roxie knew, even if her aim had been true, not much pain would be inflicted, nowhere near the amount she had endured. Still, she let them fly, hoping at least along with them a message would be sent: My window is clear.

She closed the door behind her, having found just cause to keep going, and away she went.