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The Sound of Heartbeats
Home from the beach and Port Island, the house welcomed Savannah oven hot. After she emptied her shopping bags, she grabbed an ice cube from the freezer and ran it over her forehead, down her face, and around her neck. It melted before she got any farther with its coolness. With more ice cubes wrapped in a wash cloth, she headed for the shower, peeling off her cover-up and swimsuit as she went.
The cold from the ice cubes and the water spraying over her body made her forget the heat. Her grandmother’s claw-foot tub sat next to the raised bathroom window. From there, she could see the back yard and the mimosa tree where her late-night rendezvous would take place. She smiled, wondering what she might say and which of them would speak first. For all she knew, he might be married. Not likely, though, not Nicholas Jackson. He would be wearing his ring.
Through the bathroom’s opened door, Savannah heard her grandmother’s clock radio. The radio scared her awake early that morning, turning on by itself and filling the house with the screeches of a fire and brimstone preacher. Again, like this morning, she followed the soft glow of its clock face, into her grandmother’s bedroom and switched it off.
Like everything in her grandmother’s house, the clock radio seemed to have a life of its own. The television turned on by itself too; and once it changed channels on its own. Not unusual. That sort of thing happened all the time when Savannah stayed summers with her grandmother.
Now out of the shower, Savannah stood in the darkness of her bedroom letting the warm evening breeze finish drying her. Then wrapped in her towel, she switched on the lamp and searched her suitcase for something to wear for her late-night rendezvous. She settled for a t-shirt and shorts.