By Leslie Lindsay
Here’s something I have been working on this week. It’s from my novel-in-progress. Remember this is fiction and not intended to represent anyone real, living or dead. Like my work? Great. But please don’t take it without asking. Don’t like it? Well…what can I say?!
The day drug on. Silence gripped my soul. The tick of the wall clock pounded behind my eyes, a network of vessels and synapses reaching for an impasse. Everyday numbers rambled through my head. 29-39, 25-30. Counting by tens, by 5’s.
Counting on you.
Desperate for a human connection, my fingers itching to dial, “just tap the numbers into the phone,” I scolded myself, shaking my head. An electronic device, the abstraction of numbers rattling in my thoughts. How can a phone be a connection to the living, breathing world? Something so inanimate, yet so alive with possiblility, the promise of a relationship.
A time so emotionally charged, the arrangement of the digits so frightenly familiar, though they have not been dialed in years. Prefixes and area codes shot through my memory, a blast of colors and numbers, grapheme synesthesia, a doctor had once called it. 227. 404. 770.
I knew the number by heart. By color. I reached for the phone cradled in its base and tapped his childhood phone number onto the keypad, my fingers flying over the orange and purple numbers my mind constructed and held the phone to my ear.
The bloated rings, ripe with possibility resonated in my ear, deafening almost. I swallowed. Each ring was slower, yet more persistent than the one previous. I pictured his mother, her faux auburn hair poufed in a chignon, that yellow robe wrapped around her frail shoulders, her half-moon eyelids tired with depression. She’d be leaning over the desk in the kitchen, head cocked as she the glanced at the Caller ID.
Private Caller. Unknown.
She’d slump down into the kitchen chair. The answering machine clicked on.
My heart sped up, quick successions pelting my chest. I know that voice.