After seeing his name on the list, he was almost relieved when the black car arrived at the far end of the street. At least he had a few moments left.
He turned to his wife. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she’d wait for him, but he wasn’t coming back. He bent over and kissed her forehead, trying to ignore the quivering of her thin nervous lips. They would put on a brave show for each other.
The only way that they would leave her alone is if he was there to meet the car as it pulled up. He drew in a slow, lingering breath and cursed himself in his own mind, wishing that he’d made different choices in his life. He ran his fingers through the dark tresses of her hair, falling as elegantly as ever like a funeral veil.
He could hear the motor pick up a little, the tires plowing a fresh path through the freshly fallen snow. If they had to go into the other house, they had been very efficient with their time.
He grabbed his coat from the hook, shrugging it over his shoulders. She said nothing, standing frozen in stillness. It was time to go, and he looked away, reaching for the door.
He could swear he heard a sob as he stepped out into the chill of the winter night.