Waiting By The Phone


I couldn’t enjoy my run this morning. Running gives me life; it gives me freedom; it’s my usual escape from the harshness of reality. It takes me to a world that I want to be in – a world where the only thing I need to do is put one foot in front of the other, at nobody’s pace but my own. Instead, all I could think of was you and what you’re going to say. I could barely focus on my steps; I could barely hear myself breathe. I knew all day that I’d just be waiting to hear from you; waiting by the phone.

I barely touched my lunch today. My perfectly crafted chicken salad wrap might as well have been plastic or marble or cement. It wouldn’t have made a difference; I could barely eat. I gave it to the homeless man who hangs out by the 7/11 opposite my favorite café. His name is Jack and we’ve become friends. One time Jack yelled at another homeless guy for whistling at me. He says I remind me of his daughter and he tells the best stories. He told me another one today. I was hoping to tell it to you already. But you’re keeping me wondering, waiting by the phone.

I’ve got a lot of work to do you know. Plenty of emails to write, phone calls to make; meetings to set up. Not to mention the countless articles I need to finish before I can finally call this day successful. Articles about important things like global poverty and religion and marketing strategies for the struggling small business. I’ve got fun articles to write too about not so serious things. People are depending on me and counting on me to finish. I need to finish these. But instead I’m sitting here, nervous at every sudden movement, waiting by the phone.

My gym partner just texted me – I jumped alarmingly because I thought it was you. She wants to know if I can lift with her this evening. I said yes even though I know I should not go anywhere near weights today. I can barely lift my own body. I feel lifeless and frail and fragile. And I won’t be much motivation today. I’ll barely be mentally there and I know she’ll be mad at me. Because I’ll be staring at this silly piece of technology, waiting for it to light up, and to see your name on the screen. I’ll still be waiting by the phone.

I’ll get through dinner but only just. Eating will feel like a task. Maybe I’ll grab a drink with some friends later. Or go to that thing at church they have at night for young adults. I’ll talk to my mum if she stayed up. I’ll shoot my friends who live far away some texts, and tell them that I miss them. I’ll write some more. I’ll consider reading a book or watching TV or actually journaling the old-fashioned way. I’ll pretend that these things will distract me. But whatever I do today, it won’t matter because I’ll be thinking of you. You said you’d call so I’ll be waiting uncertainly, anxiously, pathetically; waiting by the phone.

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image – DeeAshley