With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.
They only gave me one call, and of course, that call had to be to him.
His voice. “Hello?”
“Bethany, what’s going on?” His voice riddled with concern and deep confusion, and yet, relief danced across each letter, as if his question were an exhale of hope.
“I-” so close to telling him the truth, to ruining any chance at freedom, so close to admitting the fear I felt. Yet, a glance at the one way glass that stood between me and my well-deserved liberation reminded me of the words I needed to recite, the words they’d engrained within me by constant reminders of a life outside.
“I’m fine, everything is fine, I’m supposed to get out in a week, we'll see,” the words leaving my mouth each a heaviness down my throat and into my stomach, and by the end of the sentence, I was beyond simply feeling nauseous. But I chocked it back.
“A week?” He asked, although he was cautious and wary of my words being true, I heard the underlying excitement that established them.
“I miss you,” he whispered and my heart spiraled and rose and tossed and turned. It was as if my heart was castigating me for what I felt, mocking me even. It was as if with each throb it said, “Foolish girl, a silly thing it is to fall in love”.
I couldn’t move past it, his words echoed without end in the long winding canyon of my mind. As simple as they were, they represented a kindness I hadn't experienced in months.
I stole another glare at the one way glass and silently pleaded for help.
There were no words to follow, there wasn’t a script to recite, they hadn’t prepared for the simplest form of affection and I stood there oblivious of what to do. And so there, in a small yet significant form of rebellion, I spoke,
“I miss you too”.
and I could hear his smile through the phone.