I’m pacing. Back and forth, and back and forth.
Finally, I give in and pick up my phone.
As the phone rings, I prepare myself, clear my throat and try to sound airy.
She comes on after the fourth ring, curt.
“Hey, how are you?” I manage a light tone.
“Fine. What is it?”
“Nothing, I just wanted to hear your voice, to make sure you’re okay.”
She says nothing, so I try again.
“I’m serious. I’m just checking on you. Don’t worry, I won’t bring up the relationship or anything. I want us to remain friends.”
She is quiet for a while, then she replies,
“We are friends. I have to get back to work. I’ll call you later.”
I say “Bye” just as the click ends the calls and I wonder if she heard me.
I look down at the phone, Call ended 00:01:00.
Exactly one minute.
I’m calling again.
“Oh,” She sounds disappointed it is me, “how are you?”
“I’m fine, been busy with work and everything else”
“Good… good…. good…” Her voice trails off into silence.
I brace myself and continue,
“I hear you’re getting married.”
She is silent for a long time.
I would think the phone has been disconnected if I couldn’t hear her TV in the background. It’s a talent show with musical performances.
The announcer introduces a new performer. A young voice comes on, singing about love.
I cough and try a small: “Hello?”
She barks back at me,
“Who told you that?”
I exhale, long and drawn out.
“Never mind, I just wanted to know if it was true or not…. I figured you would have mentioned it.”
“Where are you getting these things from?”
“That’s not important. I’m going to go.”
“What? We haven’t talked in a while. I assumed you didn’t want to be friends anymore.”
“And you concluded we weren’t? That’s fine.” I say, before hanging up.
She doesn’t call back.
The next time I see her, she is walking down out of the church, arm in arm with her new husband.
I wave. She waves back, her eyes wide with surprise.
I smile and nod, before noticing she isn’t looking at me. She is looking past me at the excited woman jumping behind me.
The couple glides past.
I melt into the crowd, look for the exit and head towards it.