That’s All


“She sent you a message,” Libby says out of nowhere, half way through me telling her about the interviews we’d be holding next week.

  “What? Who?”


  The syllable alone still has a strange power over me. It stops me dead.

  “On your old phone,” Libby continues, “a message buzzed in a half hour ago.”

  I’d insisted that Libby grab my old cellular from storage when she got back to the states and take it to college with her. In case anyone needs to get hold of me in an emergency, I’d lied. This was the sole reason I’d asked her to keep it charged and active, I knew it, she knew it, and I instantly regretted it.

  “Want me to open it? Read it to you?” Libby says, continuing to fight the silence alone.

  Did I? I wasn’t sure. It was too much to process at eight in the morning.

  I tell her not now and we continued to talk, but after twenty minutes of her telling me about… – I don’t know what because I was spending the time in a painful battle against the side of my brain that knew what’s good for me – I interrupted her and asked for her to read me the message.

  “You sure?”

  Of course I wasn’t sure.


  There’s a shuffling as she reaches for the phone and I manage to get a little more agonizing internal debate in before she finally comes back to the microphone.

  “Ok,” she says, not entirely grasping, I fear, the gravity of the situation. This was official first contact after the fallout that ensued the biggest break up of my life. Her levity was disconcerting.

  “It says,” she starts, audibly beeping as she opens up the mail. One last ripple of nausea washes over me, one quick check of my own determination to see this through is validated, and then, “It says Happy Birthday”

  The airwaves fall silent.

  “Is that all?” I ask, incredulous.

  “That’s all.”

  That’s all.



~ by Joseph Blame on November 19, 2010.

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