The unlikely ones: The phone call that never came

He was pure enthusiasm. They’d met by chance, and by chance I mean this drunk god who gives us the things we want the most when we least expect them. She was everything and something else. The rest of his life had just materialized before his eyes, and she could be in it.

He checked his phone pathologically every time he was free at work. And back home he took a look at it every five minutes, even though the ringtone was loud enough. Nothing. She hadn’t written nor phoned. „Three more hours,” he said to himself, „only three more hours”. He went to take a bath and tried to make it last, but half an hour later he was back in his bedroom. He looked at himself in the mirror. His eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep. He’d tried taking a nap, but there was no use. He didn’t trust his phone or his alarm-clock to wake him up. “Two and a half more hours,”he said to himself. Maybe a movie. He put on American Pie 2. He’d seen the first one the previous night, when he couldn’t sleep from anxiety. The movie smothered some of his lugubrious thoughts. He didn’t believe in a god, but “Please God don’t let it happen.” Only two more hours: “Please God.” He examined his phone, swiped it to check if any message had arrived without notification. Nothing. His heart beat faster every time he did this.

The deadline he’d set was kind of arbitrary. After all, you never know with these things. But as a madman who fixates on any thing that soothes him, he picked that hour as the time of his redemption. Everything or nothing would happen at that time. He couldn’t know. He only knew she wasn’t calling or texting. The movie was over, and still an hour to go. All the strenuous effort he’d made to pay attention to it had exhausted him. He could only lie in his bed and stare at the ceiling; his eyes wide open. All the gloomy thoughts came back to him. Even if the tragedy didn’t take place; even if the hour of truth arrived and everything was OK, how could he know that everything would always be OK? This single but powerful thought ate at him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do, nothing he wouldn’t give up to avoid the inevitable. His soul? Death? What did it matter in the end? If we are just dust in the making.

His alarm went off. Twenty minutes to the fatal hour. He needed to start dressing up. He put on his best clothes and his best perfume. He remembered the phrase he’d once heard: “If I’m going to die, let it be elegantly.” He put on lip balm. His Latin lips weren’t used to the Polish whether. He walked towards the city center. When he arrived to the place it was already time. He stared at his phone. One minute past the set hour; two minutes past; three minutes. He started walking around to control his nerves. Nothing. She hadn’t called or texted. How much would he wait? He asked himself. But he knew there was only one real answer. He’d wait enough. She appeared among the crowd, walking towards him. He was as happy as he could have ever been. She was there; she hadn’t called or texted him; she hadn’t canceled their date after all.


I'm a writer born in Argentina, but currently living in Poland. I work as an English and French teacher, translator and copywriter.

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