The Sound of a Door Closing
The door opened then closed. Opened and closed once more. Then again. And again. The sound was clear and resolute. Nothing tentative. It was loud but not with the sound of an exclamation point. More that of a period. Of course in order to close, a door has to be opened. But any meaning, what mattered, lay in the repeated closing. So definitely. So deliberately.
Had it been her father? Was it a group? Was it someone she knew? Or a stranger? If unknown, why was there such meaning, why did it so matter? Even if it were her father, why did it so matter? What could be his meaning? He had closed many doors behind her. When she was a child, it was those doors she should have closed, but had carelessly left open or ajar or “agape”, as he expressed it. Doors she slammed, he would purposefully re-open and re-shut. Softly. Carefully. Silently. Once, in anger at his constant nagging about doors and how they should be shut - respectfully, he’d said, she slammed every door from kitchen screen door right through the house and upstairs to her bedroom. That time, he came right behind her, opening and re-slamming each and every one, even right up to her bedroom door. Pistol shot door-slams echoing throughout the house. On reaching her bedroom, he had stood outside briefly, then, with fury, had kicked the door. His kick split both upper and lower panels on the side nearest the lock. He never said a word, nor did she. A conversation of frustration built to fury on both sides. The door had stayed that way. Nothing was ever said about it. Now she wondered what her mother and sisters had thought. Thought. Never said. Not to her. Not to each other.
The sound, here and now, of her door being opened only to be shut, again and again, in deliberate repetition, was no dialogue. What group? she asked herself. She was alone in the house. Hers now. What stranger? No stranger would enter her house only to come upstairs and open and close a door without ever entering or even looking into the room behind the door. Who? she thought again. The wind? No window was open. No draft at play. No wind blowing outside. One of her sisters? This was most peculiar. She hadn’t moved. She seemed frozen in place. The clearly audible sound of the door opening and closing repeated, again and again. The echo beat with her pulse. Her heart echoed the click and slam.
The door stayed closed.