Quick one page stories you will love.
I picked up my phone and called his number. Again.
It hadn’t changed in over 30 years.
I had called it so many times I knew it by heart…and I always ended the call before entering the last number.
But not this time. This time…I forced myself to finish..
It rang seven times. I waited…seven times. My heart beating just a little faster after each ring.
And after each ring…my other hand…as it had done so many times before…moved a little to disconnect. But not this time.
It was him!
My God…he sounded so young! I hadn’t expected that…
Suddenly the years disappeared and we were both seventeen again and he was asking me…to go to the football game…to go to a movie…to go to dinner at Freddie’s…or…or…
…to find out if I was pregnant…and then when hearing I was not…laughing nervously with me in relief.
Now…I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say. This was a mistake. I had made a terrible mistake.
What if he had forgotten me?
I couldn’t bear that…my heart would shatter into a million pieces…dreams vanishing in a split second.
I had waited too long.
“Riley?” His voice was now urgent, intense….
My hand started to shake so hard, I dropped the phone. I grabbed at it with both hands.
“How did you…?” I whispered but then stunned into silence.
“Oh, Riley…” he said…ever so softly…and I could tell he was starting to smile.
“I’ve kept track of you…I’ve waited for this call for so long…for you to…” Then suddenly his voice broke and I could hear the tears in his eyes.
“Yeah?” I could barely speak…my voice cracking as well.
“Are you…okay?” That familiar deep voice was back…but sounding a little hesitant…perhaps wondering if he had the right to even ask…now…after all this time.
“I’m okay…” I sighed. I could breathe again. It would be all right. Somehow I knew…it would be all right.
“God, I’ve missed you, Riley.”
“I’ve missed you…”
“It’s been almost 40 years…”
“I know…” My words dropped into the depths of unspeakable anguish. The pain of so many lost days and nights slashed like a razor into my heart and would not let me say more…
“Yeah?” I struggled to answer as hot tears were streaming down my cheeks.
“I still love you…I still love you, Riley.”
A very small story about life.
You know how sometimes in life…certain events just unfold that massively affect you but you have absolutely no control over them?
Someone sneezes behind you while you are waiting in line at the cash register at your local Walgreens to purchase a bottle of Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow nail enamel…and then four days later…YOU sneeze? Like that…
Or like when…
You are sitting in your car at an intersection waiting…ever so patiently…for the red light to change to green, and then someone crashes into you from behind…and your nose gets broken from the air bag and as blood is still streaming down your chin and onto your brand-new silk blouse…the driver of the car that has crashed into you…who happens to be a very young girl…rushes up to you as you are dazedly trying to get out of your car…and tearfully confesses to you…
“I am so, so sorry, but…but I don’t have any car insurance.”
And then…later in the ER your husband…who is so very, very sweet but at times slightly addlebrained…confesses to you that…”He is so, so sorry, BUT…” he forgot to renew YOUR car insurance? Like that.
Or like when…
You pull a pair of your “used-to-be” favorite, old jeans out of the dryer…having just washed and dried them because you have recently lost 7 pounds and you are now really, really sure you will once again fit into them and…you do!!
…and then…when you are very, very happily slipping out of them, you discover two forgotten $20 bills in one of the pockets…and it turns out that right now…today…you really need that forty bucks? Like that.
Or like when…
You “impulsively and later most regretfully”…tell your high school sweetheart named Jake, who loved you more than life itself…that you want to break up with him. And, even though you never tell him why…it is because your Freshman English 101 professor at University has been asking you to come into his office on Thursday nights for some extra ‘teaching’…and you desperately want to go…even though you know he is married but you don’t care…because he is so…INTENSE and ‘DEEP’ and…CUTE!!!
However, three months later, you realize that Professor Ames is a conceited, cruel and thoughtless bastard…not to mention a hopeless alcoholic and has been asking all the girls in his Freshman English 101 class to come to his office…and so, you drop the class and never see Professor Ames ever again.
Tragically however…you feel that too much time has passed…and you are too ashamed and embarrassed to call Jake and beg him to forgive you and take you back…because you now know what you did was completely and stupidly wrong…
But then…25 years wander by and…
…one night at exactly 12:16 a.m. (and you know this because you have just looked at your watch before) you turn the corner and enter the mail room of your very large apartment building where (unbeknownst to either of you)…you both now live…
…with spouses that neither of you love anymore or even like very much…and…
Jake is standing there looking at the cover of the current issue of US Weekly and he looks up and sees you…
And…you pause for only a split second and then slowly walk the ten feet that separates the two of you…hoping with all your heart that he will open his arms to you…and he does…and neither of your lives will ever be the same again…
And…that is a good thing…
…because suddenly…all the years have melted away and he is once again that handsome 18-year-old boy who loved you without measure and transformed your young life in so many ways and you are that enchanting 17-year-old girl who cherished his love and returned it in ways that knew no bounds…
…and now both of you are together again…forever.
You know…like that.
It was a chilly and bleak November day in Minnesota. Normally, I love bleak days but on this particular day I wasn’t especially happy with my life.
Too many people who should be nice to me…weren’t.
Too many people who should appreciate me…weren’t.
Too many people who should love me a lot…or even ‘just a little more’…don’t.
And the worst part about this was that I couldn’t understand why.
If I actually thought that the problem was with me, I would have done something…anything to change the situation. But it wasn’t me.
I had spent many hours soul searching and many hours asking questions…trying to know what it was that I was doing wrong…or not doing right. But no answers…so no solutions.
So I got into my car and took a little drive down to River’s Edge Falls, a wonderful little park in the heart of Minneapolis, to watch the icy, cold water race fiercely over the rocks and then crash down to the bottom.
It was always a soothing place for me to visit but unfortunately, I found I was coming here more often…needing more and more comfort.
The park was beautifully deserted. Good. Mondays are like that.
I could just lean against the ancient stone wall and watch the water crash down…over and over…the rhythm so relaxing and the deafening noise somehow comforting and calming.
I knew I would get my focus back…re-charge…decide the correct path and take it. I’d figure it out…I always did. I wasn’t born yesterday. I had some life skills.
“Hey there little lady, how would you like to come with me to those bushes over there and warm me up on this chilly day.”
The man’s voice was mean and angry. His words slurred. Could I feel a tiny prick of a knife in my back…? No matter.
As I slowly turned, I reached into my inside jacket pocket and pulled out my loaded Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver that I always carried…because…why not?
And then I shot him through the heart. Twice.
No one heard the shots as I watched him fall to the ground…left hand still clutching a very sharp-looking steak knife.
“Fuck …you…” he croaked as the blood flowed quickly out of his heart and in seconds he was dead.
“Apparently not…” I said and I walked back to my car.