He reached out for his mobile on the dashboard, seeing his speedometer needle hit 120. He typed in her name – he hadn’t even had the chance to put her on his speed dial. A cellphone rang less than a meter away from him; it was the sound of people imitating an actual telephone ringing. He always questioned a part of her taste in music. From the corner of his eye, he could see her screening who the caller was and swore he saw her swallow before she answered the call and put it against her ear.
“Hello,” she said flatly. He took a deep breathe, as if to prepare himself for a long speech but no words came out. The car pulled over to the sidewalk and they both just sat there listening to each other’s silence until she managed to choke out a few expressions of gratitude and a hopeful goodnight through the phone.
He remained silent as she unfastened her seatbelt painfully slow and stepped out of the vehicle and walked to her home even slower, in the hopes of this turning into a romantic movie scene where he would storm out of his car and kiss her goodnight. She heard tyre screeches to indicate his unwanted departure from her presence.
Ears against their mobiles, they listened to one another’s environment – barking dogs, doors opening and closing, water rushing from the faucet and the gentle hum of the airconditioning. She was the type to wake up as soon as the sun rose and he was quite the opposite. He listened to her sleep and when she took her first few blinks into the new day, he finally managed to drift off.
He unknowingly dreamt of all the sounds that were pressed against his ear. He had dreamt of eating in a little restaurant where all the sounds of the utensils hitting the plate seemed to be so amplified. The clink-clanking of the utensils against the plates seemed to change into a consistent beeping sound that awoke him. Call waiting.
The duration of the call had been nine hours and ten minutes. She started as the number increased with every second and at the moment it went back to zero, she ended the call and he had opened his eyes completely to see the caller who had been waiting.
“Hello,” he said with a smile, ready to face the new day with complete disregard of the past.
Soundtrack: Strawberry Swing – Coldplay x Talking To The Moon – Bruno Mars x Here Is Gone – Goo Goo Dolls