Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Pamela Villars
Late Friday evening, after a year, the phone rings.
"Hey, it's me," he says into the answering machine. "Call me back," and with a slight laugh, "or not...hope you are well."
Always a restless sleeper, the message drains me of any possible peace. My thoughts swirl and spin all night: is this a rekindling, a booty call,a false alarm? Trying not to wish and dream and to keep a clear and constant mind, I recite to myself, "This is nothing, it's nothing, it's nothing."
In the am, filled with chicory coffee and shaking, unable to hold my racing thoughts any longer, I call.
"So, how are you?"
We trip over words, the awkwardness of the year and the unresolved loss impeding the conversation. Finally, the news arrives.
"I have cancer."
My world shifts, slows as his voice continues. Through the familiar bass and cadence, he shares the news...testicular, radiation, surgery.
I want to feel the caress of his lips, not his diagnosis - to reenter his life as a lover, not a nurse.
Later, from an email in the spam catcher, the apology emerges.
"Maybe facing death makes me want to make things right. I'm sorry I hurt you. Thank you for not hating me."
I wish I could.
Pamela Villars is new to writing, but has dabbled in many other creative arts. She lives in Austin, Texas, with a neurotic border collie mix, and aspires to be the female Dog Whisperer. firstname.lastname@example.org
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