A Short Phone Call

She dials the phone tentatively

He picks up. “Hello” in unreadable tones

Her reply is a calculated, controlled “hello” back

(“I love you. Can’t you see why I’m mad? You’re not supposed to be mad at me; you’re supposed to understand. Please”.)

“Why did you call?” he responds,

She wonders when he started asking that.

(“Aren’t you happy to hear my voice? I was dying to hear yours, though when I imagined it, you were softer. more loving. I think I’ve forgotten how to make you happy”)

“Simply”, she replies. She can hear him

Drawing his breath in annoyance

She asks a question before he is angry, yet again,

“Did you eat?” So silly, but she had to know.

“You don’t have to talk for the sake of it” he is

Angry now, his voice is loud and distant

(“I am not! I worry about everything you do, I can’t take care of you, so at least comfort me by saying you ate, you slept, you didn’t get tired”).

“I am not”, her voice quivers just a bit, she

Hides it quickly. He won’t hear me cry.

“Anything else?” he asks, now waiting

For the phone call to send.

“N-nothing. Sorry for calling”

(“Nothing, nothing at all. I didn’t sleep at all yesterday night after you hung up angrily. My tears flowed so freely that I feared I’d forgotten what it’s like not to cry. All you’ve got for me now is hurtful names, a list of the ways in which I mess your life up. I couldn’t breathe yesterday, it hurt too much. Do you know that? Do you know what it’s like to have your self-esteem crushed every day, by someone you love too much for your own good? Remember the time I told you that the worst point of my relationship with a person is when I stop feeling? That means I’ve stopped caring, I’ve become too tired and given up. Well, I’ve reached that point with you. And I can be saved, if only you try, if only you show you still care and value me. But you will never know this, and I will never tell you, because what is the point of my words when I am just a fake to you?”)

She hangs up quickly, breathes painfully slow.


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