The phone felt oddly heavy in my hand. How long had it been pressed to my ear listening to the endless ring...ring...ring...waiting for an answering machine to pick up? A better question would probably be why I was sitting in the dark extra bedroom in the dead silence with this phone to my ear anyway. One splash of bitter red wine from the glass, past lips and down throat was an instant reminder.
A voice. That's all I needed to hear.
There was no point in letting my mind drift. I was aware enough to know that my memories would be tainted by the drinks from the evening. As always the good times would seem overpowering and leave me sobbing messages of "why...why didn't this work..." and the bad times would seem distant...nonexistent. The fact that the bad times so harshly outweighed the good times would be forgotten. The need to go back to his arms, his bed, would win and then all I'd worked for would be ruined...soiled by the part of me that should have died long ago.
The part of me only for him.
How many times had I called him tonight? Was this the first or the tenth? If he would answer there would be a few moments of comfort in the conversation and then the call would end. I would sit, breathe in...breathe out...and feel the despair and guilt wash over me. The "why..why did I do that.." would win out and I'd have to hide my shame. The shame...
"hello..."...a rough, groggy voice floated into my ear. The electricity shot down my spine, out to my fingertips then landed firmly in my chest.
"Hello?" ...a bit louder now. More awake, aware. Barely audible above the pounding of my heart in my ears.
"Hello?? I can hear you breathing."...a touch of anger, aggravation ringing clearly through the words. Mouth instantly dry and yet expectant and longing for the mouth those words came from the close roughly around my own. My voice screamed in my head. Say something...say anything.
"He..."...the click was deafening. The moment of connection was gone and a sob caught in my throat as the fast busy signal echoed through the room.
For a moment we were tied together...both wondering about the words unsaid. Silence the only answer.