"She stood and watched the man pull away."
She stood and watched the man pull away.
Her mother was at work as usual. As much as her mother tried to be home early each night, her work as a paralegal often kept her late at the office.
Lana saw the wind blow the first red leaves of autumn in swirls in the driveway after the departing car.
He'd rung the side doorbell, which was the first few notes of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". Her mother had wanted to be a classical pianist, but Lana's birth had put an end to those hopes.
Sometimes Lana worried, she'd destroyed her mother's life, but her mother always said that Lana was the best thing that had happened to her.
Instead it was that man standing there. He was about her mother's age, although she wasn't that good at guessing grown-ups' ages. He was dressed in good jeans, an Irish knit sweater and expensive looking boots.
"Your mother is Diana Friedman?"
Then he looked down at his boots, looked at his car and said, "I shouldn't have come." He ran to his car, turned and came back. "Give your mother this." It was his business card. He was a software engineer in another city. There were tears in his eyes. "Tell her there's no obligation to call me."
Then he went back to the driveway, calling over his shoulder in a shaky voice, "Tell your mom she did a great job in raising you and I'm so, so sorry."