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Answer the Phone

Ring. Ring. Ring.

The phone is ringing. The room is dark, so dark. She sees nothing save for that old rotary phone, still shiny. Unblemished by time, cord twisting off the small wooden table, falling into darkness.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

She knows who’s calling, he’s the only one who could be calling. No one else ever calls her. She wants to answer the phone, wants to hear the click and static. She wants to hear his voice. She doesn’t care what he says, she just wants to hear him. It’s been so long since he called her. Or has it? When was the last call again?

Ring. Ring. Ring.

She wants to answer the phone, but the cords won’t let her. They wrap around her arms, her torso, her legs. They loop around her throat, tightening like a noose with every unanswered Ring. Her outstretched arm trembles, reaching, reaching, reaching. She can’t reach the phone. The wires grown tighter.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

She’s choking on her own collapsing throat, yet she still reaches for the phone. She has to answer it. She needs to hear his voice again. She doesn’t remember how long it’s been but any passage of time is too long. Too long like the twisting cords. Where do the cords end? Where does the phone plug in? If she pulls too hard, will she kill the phone?

Ring. Ring. Ring.

She needs to answer. He hates to be kept waiting. He hates to linger where he is not heard. If she doesn’t answer, will he ever call again? She can’t breathe. She can’t feel her legs. Her arms are numb, but still they reach. Still her fingers wiggle, as if the motion will bring her closer or call the phone to her like a dog. A silly thought, perhaps it’s the lack of air.

Ring. Ring. Ring.

The phones still ringing, but she can’t answer it herself. The cords are too tight, but you. You’re here, aren’t you? You’re hands are free. Won’t you be so kind, and answer it for her?

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