Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sunday Scribblings - Message

This is a short piece of fiction I created for Sunday Scribblings.  To read posts from other participants, click HERE.  To read my older submissions click HERE

The Message

She stared at the phone.  No message, nothing.  How long since anyone had called?  It was just too much to take.  Tears streamed down her cheeks, falling, leaving the evidence of their journey on the legs of her blue jeans.

When had she become obsolete?  When had she disappeared into a place where the silence was so deep that there were no longer friends, or even messages from friends?  Maybe the machine was broken.  She gathered up some change and left the apartment.  About a block away was a payphone.  It felt odd standing there.  Pay phones were quickly becoming extinct because so many people now carried cell phones.  She might too, except for the tight budget she was on.

Dropping the change into the slot, she listened for the dial tone and then began to punch in her number.  There it was, the distant ringing of the phone.  After six or seven times, the machine picked up.  “Hi!  I’m not here, but I hate to miss your call.  Please leave me a message after the tone and I’ll call you back.”   She heard the tone.  Without thinking, she began to speak, “Hi Stacy, how have things been?  You are a good person.  You should have lots of friends lining up to spend time with you.  Don’t be sad when they don’t leave messages.  Life just gets so busy.  It doesn’t mean you are not loved.”

Stacy looked at the receiver in her hand, and then hung it up.  She walked quickly home, unlocked the door, and went immediately to the telephone.  One message, it said, the red light blinking.  She pressed the button and listened to the message.  It made her smile.  When it reached the end, Stacy pressed save.  There would always be a message waiting for her now.  A message that someone cared.  It didn’t matter that it was from her.  Doesn’t being loved, start with learning to love yourself?  That’s what she’d always been told.  Stacy walked into the kitchen and picked up the cup of pills she’d been planning to take.  She poured them down the disposal, turned the water on and flicked the switch.  A second of grinding was all it took.  Her shoulders felt lighter.  She could breathe again.  Somewhere deep inside of her a voice had cried out and she had heard it.  Message received. 

Copyright February 11, 2010 ajj (revised from original 01-13-10)

No comments: