Thursday, May 21, 2009

Recollect me, darling...

My phone rings.

Hard to believe I was getting any signal in this steel box that my friend calls home.


Feminine sobs answer me.

My brain immediate goes into emergency mode, emotions are shut off as I run through the options of what might have happened and plan my route to my car, tossing freeway routes through my head, weighing traffic and construction along each one.

"What happened?"

"Oh god, oh god..." she whimpers at me and I can hear her ragged breathing. My insides clench in frustration.

"K, what's wrong?"

"He's crazy, oh god, I didn't know, I didn't know it was this bad, I did not know he did this, I didn't know, I didn't know!" almost incoherent babbles through tears. But I understand what she's trying to say, I know what happened.

"What happened, K?"

"I didn't know, I didn't know he was this bad! I didn't understand why you left, oh god, he's crazy! I can't believe he did this to you! I didn't know, I never understood." Each sentence is followed by a sudden and violent gasp, and I can tell she's about to go over the edge into hyperventilating.

"Is he there right now?"

More gasping, more sobs.

"Is he at the house right now, K?"

"No," her trembling voice, "No, he left. I don't know where he went and when he'll be back."

"Give me twenty minutes."

She quietly assents and I end the call.

Excusing myself, I leave. I drive quickly, lacking the knowledge of his whereabouts, I do not want to be caught at the house when he returns. If he returns.

I still have a key. They never changed the locks. I let myself in.

When I open her door, she flies into my arms, still crying.

I listen to her sob, listen to her attempt to communicate what happened through her tears. Her words re-enact a watered down version of my nightmare, but it still should not have happened. When I left, I left her without protection.

And when she was done crying, I repeated to her the words that I had been told so many times.

I betrayed her.

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