by Howard Reeves
night, my girlfriend, Allisonwithout saying
a wordgot up from the green lounge chair,
walked down the steps to where she parked her car
and drove home. I sat there for a good hour-and-a-half
thinking about what I mightve said. Or
perhaps didnt say. But then I thought maybe
it was the encroaching canopy of trees hovering
above the deck that freaked her out. She once
told me that she was a little bit claustrophobic.
night I was telling her how much I like being
with her, how we have a lot in common. Like
spending time together at the beach, or playing
Super Trivia at Eddies Sports Grill. Oh,
sure, I couldve said I loved herwomen
kill for that. But I just couldnt say it.
Maybe I dont know what it means to love, really
love, someone. Maybe Im afraid of
commitment. I mean, a relationship is major. To
tell the truth, it scares the shit out of me.
I spend the
next two days wandering around the house, barely
eating. Im wondering if maybe I said
something wrong, or maybe not enough. Its
starting to gnaw at mewhat does she want?
Am I that shallow that I cant even tell her
how I really feel? Maybe I should call her up,
ask her how shes doing. Tell her that I
really enjoyed being with her the other night. I
wonder if shell feel the same way. I
dont know. What should I do?
I pick up the
phone then put it back down. I take a deep breath
and whoosh it out before picking it up
again. I dial quickly, trying not to be nervous
while her phone rings. Damn! Its her answer
machinewhatll I say? The recorded
voice sounds relaxed, mellow. So maybe shes
not pissed at me for any reasonoh, sweet
Jesus, theres the tone!
Allison, itsuhmeMark. I
just want to tell you thatthat Ithat
hang up the phone. I laugh, relieved. But then I
feel a sudden lump in my stomacha big
sickening lump. What if that wasnt her? The
voice on the other end had more timbre. It seemed
a little deeper than Allisons, hers is
light and sweet. This was the voice of a stranger.
Did I dial the wrong number? Should I try to call
her again? What the hell should I do?