"It’s 4 am,
My phone is vibrating,
Unfamiliar number,
Familiar time.
Your voice cracks when you answer me on the third “hello?”
You repeat it back slowly..
“Hell- o”
I know right away that it’s you and I can’t respond.
I pull the phone away from my ear looking for the end call button,
Thinking- “it’s too late for this shit”
Even with the phone pulled away I hear you begin to beg me not to hang up.
I stare at the phone screen for a moment watching the phone call time wind up. Pulling it back to my ear, rebuking myself internally for doing so. “What is it that you want right now?” I asked with every bit of bitterness I could muster up. You sat silent for a moment, unprepared because we hadn’t spoken in months. Or maybe it was overwhelming, there must have been a million things you wanted to tell me. But you probably know me better than anyone else, and you know I hate small talk. “I miss you” you start, and that is my cue to end the call. “No no no, wait!” you say hurriedly knowing exactly what I was doing. I pull the phone back up and say nothing. You continue “I know it’s late, but I couldn’t sleep.. I found your purple tie head and it smells like that cocoa butter conditioner you use.. I just wanted to hear your voice… It’s been almost 6 months” I glance over at the conditioner sitting on my wooden desk. I automatically taste loss in my mouth. I remember you drying my hair with a towel after I washed it. Those times are gone now, I respond as coldly as I can still heavy mouthed from the unwanted nostalgia “So?” You exhale deeply, I know I’m hurting you. Your voice cracks “I-I guess you’re right, I don’t even know why I called or what I thought might happen..” My stomach filled my throat, It’s been over a year since the last time I cried… But I was starting to get hot.. I didn’t speak because I knew you would know I was on the verge. You took my silence as an opportunity to continue, “You didn’t even want it to work did you? Like you didn’t even try.. I would have shed blood if I thought it would save what we had..” Your tone was urgent now, searching. I sat quiet my mouth was tasting so many things none of which I could identify. I hear the anger filling you as your tone was lifted ” And you have nothing to say, do you ever have anything to say! I’ve been in this alone from the beginning, loving you and not being loved back. It was okay at first not being loved, you had a way of making me feel like I was the only one, but eventually one sided love is exhausting. You had me constantly wondering what was wrong with me, but now I know its you.. You’re fucked up, you’re damaged goods, you need help!” You started crying, I could hear the angry tremble break into a river of tears. “It’s not fair! It’s not fair that I love you so much and you have no idea how to love me back!” Talking became too difficult for you between weeping an catching your breath. You stopped talking, I could hear your soft whimpers and heavy breath. Then, the line went dead. I sat there for half an hour with the phone still at my ear, Begging the universe t help me forget your name."

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