There was no assuaging the uneasiness in him, the restlessness. He tried to read but couldn't focus. His sleep was bedeviled by the strangest of dreams. There was no pleasing him in anything, and his wife and friends became concerned, and then angry.
He walked to the windows one hundred times a day and more, and looked out over the city. But he could not figure out what he wanted; he could not see it.
After many weeks passed this way, he decided he must drive out into the countryside. Maybe he would know then what it was he sought. Maybe he would find it as he drove.
The leaves were almost gone from the trees, and the sky was gunmetal grey and low. He turned north, although he did not know why. He tried listening to the radio, but it only overset his nerves. He turned off the music and rode on in silence.
The world became beautiful to him then, like a dream.
He passed quiet fields held back from the road by decaying rails that were meant to be fences. He passed farmhouses and barns that sagged under the weight of rain and age. He passed under tunnels of dying trees, the fallen leaves rolling under the wheels of his car.
Then he came to a place where a woman stood beside the road and he stopped. The woman, he knew, looked as he did: the same straw-colored hair, the same blue eyes, the same sharp nose. And the same wary expression.
He had always been a bit too pretty for a boy, and she was a bit too handsome for a girl.
He got out of the car, leaving it right there in the road. It didn't seem to matter now.
The woman did not lose her wary look, but when he held out his hand to her, she took hold of him. "Do I know you?" he asked her.
"Only as well as I know you," she replied. And it made sense to him, in a subconscious way.
"Were you waiting for me?" he asked.
She shrugged. "I was waiting for something," she said, "and I guess you're it."