Bennett lives with his grandmother, Maggie. In this scene, Anna visits her house for the first time.
Time Between Us: Maggie’s house from Anna’s point of view.
I can’t believe I’m doing this.
I peek out from behind the tall hedge again and stare at the house. Impressive. Two, maybe even three, stories. Tudor style. A carriage house out back, if I’m assessing accurately from this distance and the three times I’ve walked past the house, chickened out, and hidden behind shrubbery.
Why am I doing this?
I let out a heavy sigh as I move from behind the bushes, walk toward the house again— this time with a determined stride— and turn onto the recently shoveled walkway. It’s only 5: 30, but it’s almost completely dark, and I’m shaking as I climb the steps. When I reach the top, I pick up the lion’s-head doorknocker and take a deep breath before I bring it down.
There’s no answer.
I knock again, tightening my coat against the wind, and glad I’ve traded my tights and skirt for jeans.
Just as I turn to leave, I hear footsteps. “Who’s there?” asks an elderly-sounding woman from the other side of the door.
“I’m sorry. Never mind.” I back away and head for the steps. “I think I have the wrong house.”
The dead bolt makes a heavy thunk and the door opens slowly.
She’s older but not elderly, and striking, with long gray hair and smoky blue eyes. She’s wearing a red silk scarf over her dark, loose-hanging clothes, and smiling at me with a curious expression.
“Hi.” She opens the door, wide and welcoming.
“Hi. I’m looking for someone named Bennett, but I’m so sorry. I think I have the wrong address.” I start to turn away again.
“No, you don’t; Bennett’s here. Come on in and warm up.” She moves back to make room for me in the entryway.
“I’m Maggie.” She holds out her hand.
“Anna.” I shake it, still wondering who she is.
“You must be a friend from school.”
“Yes.” I’m not sure I qualify as a friend, but it’s the simplest answer. “I’m sorry to impose, ma’am.” Yes. I’m an idiot for coming here. And I’m just now realizing this.
In this scene from Time After Time, Bennett’s reflects back on his first visit to his grandmother’s house.
Two cups of coffee, three tall glasses of water, a bowl of cereal, and a couple of hours later, I leave the Greenes’ and walk the four familiar blocks to Maggie’s house. My heart is beating hard in my chest by the time I reach the porch, and speeds into a whole new gear when I pick up the lion’s-head doorknocker.
Sweat drips down the back of my neck and my shirt sticks to my skin. Today the weather may be different, but I’m just as nervous as I was when I stood in this same spot last March, bending the corners of an index card back and forth while I waited for her to answer the door.
I’d just come from the Northwestern student housing office. I had no way of recognizing the penmanship, but as I stood in front of the giant bulletin board, one card stood out, its letters carefully drawn and perfectly slanted, as if someone who cared how it looked had written it. I pulled out the thumbtack and turned it over to verify what I already knew. Then I went straight to the address.
When my grandmother opened the door, I introduced myself as a Northwestern student and asked her if her room was still available to rent. She wore a guarded expression, but nodded, and when I handed her enough cash for the remainder of the quarter— even though I had no intention of staying that long— she invited me in for tea and showed me my new room. But two months later I disappeared without saying a word, leaving behind a closet full of clothes, a brand-new SUV, and a bunch of questions Anna had to do her best to answer for me.
I hear the floorboards creak on the other side of the door. Maggie peeks through the curtains, takes one look at me, and disappears again. Everything’s quiet. No floorboards creaking as she walks away, but no deadbolt snapping either.
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