The blazing sun roared through the open window. There was not one gust of wind to shake the curtains that lay still, as if they were not made of cloth at all, but of stone. She sat on an armchair next to the window, a paper on her lap, a pen dangling loosely from her finger tips, staring outside with empty eyes. The paper on her lap had some words scribbled on it; Dear Peter,
how are you? I have something to confess. I have so many things to ask you. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?
Trrringgg! Trrringgg! Trrringgg! The telephone seemed to scream at her. Still she did not move. It rang for a good five minutes until it finally when silent. She slowly shifted in her seat. The paper fell of and the pen rolled away. She got up and heavily took some steps towards the telephone. As if sensing her presence, it started ringing again. Trrringgg! Trrringgg! Trrringgg! This time she flinched and backed up. The telephone seemed to appear like a serpent in her eyes. She backed up against the wall and kept on staring at the yelling telephone. Silence once again. She heaved a deep sigh and started inching towards the telephone once more. Silence. She reached the telephone and switched on the screen. 41 voice messages awaited her. She gasped and sank to the floor. She hugged her trembling body to comfort herself. After sometime, she collected herself once again and reached for the telephone. She went straight to the 41 messages that awaited her and clicked on it.
“Annie, it’s me Peter. Look, I don’t know what I did to make you upset but this isn’t like you at all. You haven’t come to class for three days and you don’t read my texts, nor do you answer my calls. Talk to me Annie. I know we can fix this if we talk. What’s wrong? You know I’m here for you. Just… Talk to me okay. I’ll wait for your call.”
She blinked back tears and proceeded to scroll down to the last voice message and clicked on it.
“A-Annie. It’s me. Me, Peter. T-this is k-killing me Ann. Y-you c-can’t do this to me! Y-you c-can’t disappear on m-me like this! You j-just can’t! C-can’t. A-ann. I miss. I-I miss yo-”
She cut off the message and bent down to disconnect the telephone. Disconnecting the line, she slowly made her way to the bedroom. There, she stripped herself off her clothes one by one, taking her time as if they were made of lead or iron. Sluggishly, she entered the bathroom and started up a shower. As the cool water washed down her burning body and sticky sweat, her mind wandered over thoughts of Peter. His beautiful smile. The mole behind his ear that she liked to pinch. His soft and curly hair and that always swished around with the wind. She thought about his soft voice that she always hears over the calls they take for hours, and his cute giggles that always reminded her of the vibrant soap bubbles they blew in the carnivals, where they went together. She remembered his glowing smile on the day he ran up to her and announced his new girlfriend. Amidst the cool water from the shower, she felt a slight warmth on her face and she realized, it was the tears that gushed out uncontrollably. She slowly sat down on the floor and recalled that moment which was cloudy yet so clearly stamped on her mind.
It was a day like any other. She waited for Peter at the bench where they usually meet up after class, to go and get a snack or a cool drink. But that day, she had something to give him. It was a small keychain she got for him as a gift, after he gave her a necklace. She was excited because it was limited edition of the Pokémon collection and Peter was obsessed with Pokémon. Her smile, which was bubbling all over her face as he ran up to her, immediately dropped as he announced, “She said yes! She said yes!” He shook her violently with happiness and he was too pleased with himself to notice her faltering pretentious smile she was using to hide the tears threatening to jump out. She quietly asked who “she” was, and he replied it was the girl he had been interested in for a while, which made her blurt out, “And you didn’t think you should tell me about this girl? I thought we were best friends and this is what you do? Hide things from me?”. Peter’s smile wavered as he replied, “I’m sorry Annie, I really wanted to surprise you. I didn’t think otherwise. I’m really sorry, I promise this won’t happen again! Come on Ann! This is not the time to be sulking, we should celebrate!”. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t “celebrate” what was happening, so I lied about another appointment and ran. I could still hear his screams echoing in my ears as I ran; “Annie wait! Wait! Ann!”
It has been three days since that day and I still couldn’t face him. If he was interested in another girl, what did our time together mean? It is true that we were best friends, but I am sure that “best friends” would caress each other’s faces randomly. “Best friends” will not call each other for hours and hours late at night. “Best friends” will not sacrifice a family function to comfort you and hug you while you cried over low grades in your dorm room. No. Peter was definitely more than a “best friend” to me and I was more than one to him. Or else why would the necklace he gifted me say “Mine”. He can claim it’s to show how “close” we are but it certainly meant more.
The running cold water suddenly started turning warm, so she got up and got out of the shower. Dressed up, she once more went over to the armchair by the open window. The almost blank paper laid face up, mocked her. She bent down and picked it up. Without thinking twice, she crumpled it up and threw it out the window. Her hand crept up to her neck where Peter’s gift lay, cool upon her skin. She gently unclasped it and threw it out the window as well. Heaving a gentle sigh, she went to the window and looked out. A small gust of window blew in her face, making her smile for the first time in three days.
She turned around and went to the telephone and plugged it in. She went to the voice messages and cleared them all and proceeded to dial Sarah’s number.
“Hello Sarah! It’s me Annie. Could you get me the notes of the last three days I missed?”
Rtr. Sayuri S. Wijesinghe
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