She hesitated, staring at the caller ID.
There was only one person who would call her personal phone from that number, from that office, and in actuality she was not sure she wanted to speak to him. She stopped referring patients to him or anyone in his group long ago, specifically to maintain the distance they both needed.
Distance that had persisted until the apparition began to show up, unbidden and unwelcome. Haunting, attacking, cursing, taunting…. trying to drive her over the edge.
Why don’t you just jump? You worthless, crazy whore. Slut. Slut. Evil, insane, unworthy whore.
The phone rang again, vibrating in her hand.
You don’t even know me.
She groaned, exasperated with herself because she knew she would answer. Of course she would answer.
She always answered. Curiosity was her nemesis.
There was a pause. She closed her eyes, bracing herself, not sure what would come next.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I let things get out of hand.” She had not heard his voice in… she couldn’t remember when. “I wanted her to hurt you…. because….” He trailed off into his customary silence.
He had always wielded his silence like a sword, slicing his way through her. It was one of the things about him that drove her away.
“I know,” she said finally, even though she didn’t know. She didn’t really understand anything.
Some secrets are best left shrouded in silence.
“It won’t continue,” he said. She could hear that he meant those words.
He might have said more but she wasn’t listening. The truth was she did not need anything more. She didn’t even need the apology. All she needed was for him to be the man she thought he was so she could go on remembering him as she always had…
And very far away.
I am going to do “Fiction Fridays” so expect to see these vignettes and short stories on Fridays in the future! I had to use this one today as I have several posts I am working on but nothing actually finished and publishable to my satisfaction. The start of the school year yesterday plus catching up at work after vacation is kicking my butt!!!