I shouldn’t have picked up the phone. It was too late in the evening, and the eyes in the photo below the 04 number held the shine of lingering trouble. I answered groggily, and coughed twice between words. I’d been asleep when she called.
She was in tears. It was the norm lately, and if she wasn’t in tears then her voice was full instead of a deep sadness that seemed to carry a feeling that could not be satisfied by crying. The energy she’d once had was absent and the world perhaps seemed darker to her, as though it was too much for her to handle—she lived alone, you know. We’d had no choice but to have it end that way. I could hear the rustle of the handset caught between her ear and the pillow.
My voice likely deafened her and she let it.
It's so tough, real tough, you know, like imagining your favourite food only to work out mid-thought that you're allergic, but deep down you don't care, right, you want to devour it anyway, and you tell yourself that you can stomach it, though a thousand things tell you you cannot.