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A small snippet

It's always hard driving at night, the headlights glare off the windshield, and when eyes are tired they're more susceptible to tricks of the light. Tonight feels worse. He didn't even stick around for proper goodbyes. One minute he was there, the next he was gone.

It flashes on my vision, the ritual pulling off of tape after my matches, and how he always had some off the wall double-entendre'd comment for me. Of course, this wasn't the first time he wasn't there, but somehow I had wished for a last time.

Radio sucks in the middle of nowhere, but at least the car has an iPod jack. Motley Crue might not have been my first choice, but tonight I need to drown out the silence. The raunchier the message in the lyrics the better. Beat on the steering wheel, eyes on the road, there's a hole in my heart.



Toledo to Cleveland, all the little places in between...Northwood, Milbury, Lirdsey.....it's only a short jaunt to Sandusky. There are memories there, and if I'm lucky they'll fill that hole.

Or maybe tear it deeper, but at one am I call a halt.

The phone vibrating against my hip startles me from the headlight daze.

whre r ubm

I squint, and when I see it's him there's a lump in my throat. His thumbs are too big for the slide out keyboard, and he always hits the "b" when he means to hit the space-bar. I can't answer, not right away. Of course I can manage to zip out an update for Twitter, there's always time for hidden pleas for comfort and understanding from the universe. But responses to these garbled messages that tug at my heart? Not yet. My thumb runs over the screen of the phone in a gentle caress.

The diner is right where I remember it to be, it even looks like the same waitress. She smiles and leans her hip against the counter as the phone vibrates against my hip again.

whre r u ?bru thre

"What'll you have?" she says with the same drawl I remember.

"The usual?" I answer with hope.

She winks and pulls up an empty coffee mug from under the counter, "Cherry pie, right?"

I have to pause, my throat clogs up and I can only nod.

"Go on," she says, nodding toward the table in the corner, "I'll bring it over."

I take the coffee mug and head to the table, wait until she sets the pie in front of me. When she retreats I pull out the phone. Both the messages blink on the screen forlornly. One sweet bite of pie and I push the button to call him.

He answers too quickly. "Hey."

I wait as I chew, and then swallow, and wash it all down with piping hot coffee. "Where are you?" I ask.

"Airport."

I can form a picture in my mind's eye, he's hunched forward to ease the ache in his back. White shoes shining like a beacon through the dark, I know it's still dark wherever he is. I know he's hunched in on himself so as to not draw attention, but I know he's drawing it none the less. An out of the way bench, frozen in limbo. Wanting to go home, but still holding on to what was.

There's a long silence, I push the pie away, and my voice breaks as I ask the question I know he's waiting for.

"Why didn't you...say goodbye?" As we both expect, my voice cracks.

It's as if I can feel the air deflating from him, and his answer takes me by surprise.

"Couldn't make a scene, not in front of the boys," he whispers. "I'll be here, waiting," his voice all but trails off on the last word.

"At the airport?" I say, attempting to lighten the mood.

"In your heart."

It doesn't surprise me that the line goes dead then. It's too much to ask for either of us to be too honest with one another. I have my pride, he has his.

How long can I sit here, adrift in these feelings....knowing that he is adrift too...

The phone vibrates again.

i d<3 u

One tear tracks down my cheek and I know. I can sit here as long as it takes.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
anne_barwell
Mar. 6th, 2011 08:53 am (UTC)
I love this. There are so many emotions in just a short scene and you use the texting so well.

Is this just a drabble or is it a part of something longer? I'd really like more.
rowenasudbury
Mar. 6th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
Hi....thanks for your comment!!

This is actually part of a huge...sprawling...story that is in my head all of the time. In a lot of ways I don't think I'll ever make it into any more than just a series of short drabbles. I don't know, we'll have to see I guess.

I did post a few more with these characters here:

http://gay-romance-fiction.blogspot.com/search/label/Rowena%20Sudbury

You have to pick and choose through them, because some of them are about different people ;)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )