My phone is silent. Still. And I continue to watch it, waiting for it to disappear. My music is blaring, and I am singing along with it a bit louder than usual. I think about turning the volume down, but decide I don’t have to. When you call, the screen will light up, and light travels faster than sound.
An hour passed by me.
Did it pass by you, too? I think it did, but you just weren’t paying attention.
I suddenly doodle clusters of hearts on the back of my hand. You inspire my heart doodles, but when you ask why, I never tell you. I like watching you try to figure out my riddles, because you’re beautiful when you think.
You smile when you think.
I chew on my half-cooked spaghetti noodles as if they were locks of hair. I chew, but I don’t swallow. My mind is not set on swallowing, but on watching. Waiting. Sitting. Hoping.
With my finger, I trace hearts on the cover of my phone. You said you’d call. Did you forget? No, you didn’t forget. But you haven’t called. Maybe you’re busy. Yea… busy.
I tap my pencil on my notebook.
Tap, tap, tap, tap.
You wouldn’t happen to be working on your homework, too, would you? If you are, you should call me. We could work on it together. Do you know the answer to number one? I need help on number one. Something seems to keep distracting me, and I can’t get anything done. Is something distracting you, too? Is that why you don’t call? No? I guess it’s just me.
I wash off my makeup, and my phone is on the counter right beside me like a small, square shadow.
And if you call, I’ll be the second to know. Not first though, because you knew before me.
I scrub my nose, and it tingles, just like it does when you brush my hair off of my smile. I wipe off my lip gloss, but I stop and wonder if you wanted a taste. I smile at the thought, my cheeks bright in the mirror.
The clock strikes eight, and my favorite show is on. Just a rerun. Just another no call. Just another lonely night with you stuck in my head. My phone is on the table, right by my mini popcorn and un-carbonated glass of water. You would laugh if I said that. Why is it so funny? You know that I don’t like carbonated drinks. The fizz, it makes my mouth feel like it’s on fire. But you’re always there to put out the flames.
It’s an hour past eight, and you’re subconsciously driving me crazy. The rerun’s over, and I laughed at the sad parts because I knew what came next. They were just friends. They were in love. They broke the silence. Cracked it, like cool glacier ice.
Will we be like my rerun? I hope so.
It’s a few quarters past ten, and I’m about ready to sleep. Still you haven’t called, still I trace hearts on the back of my phone. Still I sit, wait, and watch. But still isn’t enough, and I lack the energy to stay awake.
I lie down in my soft bed, but still you keep me awake. You poke my thoughts with your fingers, annoying but beautiful. I turn my head to the side, staring at the phone’s shadowy outline on my bedside table. I sniffle a little, wishing you’d called this time, last time, first time.
I wash out all thoughts of you, creating a white wall in my mind. But it’s hard to not think about you, because when I tell myself to not think about you, I end up thinking about not thinking about you, making me think of you even more. Did that make sense? I don’t think it did. I hope it did. But I don’t think it did.
I close my eyes, and I try not to concentrate on the dog barking in the neighbor’s yard. It never shuts up. It’s loud. Echoing in the night. I turn over on my side. The blankets rustle.
But then my eyes are wide open. The phone hums, just like you on your church pew. I bolt up and grab my phone, but gently, as if I were grabbing you. It’s a gentle object, you know, I take very good care of it. You or the phone? Both. Just you.
The screen glows.
The message is from you. I read the three words that slow my heart, that plunge me in ice, push me into deep water that cracks around me, pulls me under. Suffocates me with your ties.
I smile at your perfect grammar.