Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hello

If you steal a loaf of bread because your children are hungry, are you a thief?

If you let a man give you money after sex so you can pay the rent, are you a whore?

There are only two things that are unforgivable in today's society; being fat or being poor.

There's a thin line between just getting by and living in your car. It doesn't take much to fall off that wire, precariously balancing between safety and disaster.

The wolf is no longer at the door; he's sitting on the couch with a bag of cookies in one paw and the remote in the other, and he's starting to get grumpy because the bag is empty and there's nothing good on tv.


She tried to shake the voices out of her head, tried to find the grace she needed to get out the door and do it all over again. It wasn't coming today. She reached for the phone, deciding to call out sick, when it began to ring. She glanced at the number (thank God for caller ID); it wasn't someone she owed money to. Shocking. It took her a minute to recognize the number; it was his cell.

Why was he calling now? She checked the clock; 7:30 am. He was in Los Angeles, it was night time there. One more ring and the call would go into voice mail, she wouldn't have to deal with his kindness. It rang; impulsively she picked it up, catching it at the last minute.

"Hello?"

"Hey, I was afraid you'd all ready left for work."

Silence. Awkward, heavy silence. She felt stupid; part of her wanted to make up an excuse to end the call, another part wanted to kick off her shoes and burrow into the couch for the next hour.

"Are you still there?"

She nodded her head, continuing to feel stupid. He can't see a nod, you idiot.

"I was just getting ready to leave."

Not a very convincing lie. More heavy silence. Should she wait for him to speak? What did he want? They hadn't resolved that question before he left.

She heard him give an exaggerated yawn. She could feel a slight jittery feeling starting to brew in her stomach. Tell him you have to go, hang up.

"I was just getting ready to leave" she repeated.

A small sigh of disappointment became audible from 3000 miles away.

"I just wanted to say hi. We haven't spoken since I left, and I realized I . . ." His voice trailed off into silence.

Say something, the voice in her head screamed! He may not call again. She started to rock back and forth.

"You just left yesterday," she managed to whisper, "You should be asleep, it must still be the middle of the night out there. Or did you just get in from a night of debauchery?"

He laughed. He had a great laugh. She could hear the apprehension melt from his voice, thought about his long,lean body stretching out on the bed. She smiled in spite of herself.

"I'm afraid my days of debauchery are long gone. Especially if I have to do them alone. I want to hit the gym before my meeting started. I thought I'd just call and say good morning."

A sense of relief began to flood her. She sat on the couch and kicked off her shoes, pulling her knees up on the cushion.

"I miss you too."

14 comments:

  1. This drew me in quickly and kept me reading. The dialogue captured far more emotions than the words themselves. Nicely done.

    My 3WW: A Strange Partnership

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  2. Oh... this ended in a way that pleased me, but I was feeling apprehension from beginning to end. Well constructed!

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  3. Lovely story... I felt the tension throughout and relaxation in the end!

    ~laurie

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  4. Wonderful writing. I felt the tensions and the undercurrants, I could sense all of the unspoken things. So very well done! I really enjoyed it. :-)

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  5. There is so much to read in this riveting story, especially with your preamble. My mind was weighing up all the possibilities. Beautiful and intriguing writing.

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  6. What a shift..those opening thoughts screamed of a woman in trouble..sitting alone..trying to figure things out..trying to keep it together..or appearing to..and then the call..was she talking to the wolf..is he safe.. is he looking out for her..I felt more easy when she kicked her shoes off..but still, part of me is glad he is only on the phone and she can choose to let him in or not..Jae

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  7. Isn't it amazing how one person can change everything? I like the edginess at the beginning and the image of her kicking her shoes off at the end.

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  8. You had me hooked and going down a totally different road! I love the shift and how it ended.
    Well done :)

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  9. @Jaerose-Interesting comment, I never envisioned him as the wolf, I thought of him as someone who was trying to help, but bad experiences from her past are making her keep her defenses up.

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  10. A really intriguing story. There seems to be uncertainty on both sides, so it will probably take more episodes to find out how the cookie crumbles.

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  11. Sweet; I liked how you twisted it up at the end. Lots of memories for me from this story.

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  12. Nicely paced, very readable and believable voice. The opening is intriguing. And I understood what you intended (looking at the comment in response to Jae). The clue for me was her having to deal with his kindness. It makes her uncomfortable, but it is genuine.

    What was the question they hadn't resolved before he left? That's the one thing that nags me.

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  13. @Peter- She's completely baffeled at first that he'd call just to say 'hi', but ultimately is quite delighted and relieved that he has. I think it was a question of how close she was willing to let him get; it was a lot easier for her to let him get physically close, but was anxious about letting him become emotionally intimate.

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