By Brian Anderson
His thumb hesitated over the contact
on the screen of the phone,
Should he call?
What would he say?
He looked up and exhaled slowly. His breath bloomed in the January air, which reminded him of all those years he’d smoked cigarettes and he felt a faint yearning to start again.
He looked at the bungalows on the opposite side of the road. They seemed to return his gaze, the particular slope of their roofs lending them a sympathetic air as he stood
on the driveway. He looked down to the phone again and realised that his thumb was still hovering in the same position.
Should he call?
He thought the conversation over in his mind.
“Hello, it’s me. Sorry for calling, I’m not sure why I have. Maybe I just wanted to hear your voice”
No that was no good. What was he thinking? What would he achieve by pressing his thumb to that number.
“Hello, I realise that I should have told you that I love you but you know you didn’t say it either and I know you have left before but is this really it?”
No, no, no he was being stupid. He drew himself up to his full height and checked the knot in his tie with his free hand and smoothed down his suit jacket.
Then he pressed his thumb to the screen and held the phone against his ear in an almost aggressive act.
And as he did, the Hearse and the limousines slowly pulled into the street like a studied rebuke to a childish act.
And as they drew up before him he was aware of his wife at his side asking who he was calling.
“No one really……..I was just making sure..that he’s really…” he said from somewhere outside of himself as the words
“Sorry, this number is no longer in service”
echoed in his ears then faded into a low, unyielding drone as he took the front seat
in the first car.