Categories > Original > Drama > Don't Hang Up6 Reviews
Pinpoint a moment where someone's life is changed. Although it's just a memory, probably nothing more, you can't even come up with the slightest hint of one.
It was like a blur of emotions sunk their way into his skull. He’d always thought that there was one person, at least, that he could rely on. He bit his lip, reaching awkwardly for the phone. Impatience was stirring amongst the people outside of the phone booth, but he didn’t care. As long as he could block them out, pretend that this fast and ugly city wasn’t around him, he was alright.
It dawned on him that this one person was probably the only reason he was still alive. It wasn’t so much the person; it was the fact that someone out there was willingly giving him their phone number. It was pure hope, unmasked as pure ignorance.
“911, state your emergency.”
“I lost someone.” He tapped his foot, his bitter paranoia uncontrollably leaking out.
“We’re tracking where you are now. Where did you lose them?”
“No! Don’t track me. I mean, I won’t be here.” His eyes shift from the pain in his side to as far as he can see...wishing for California, where the heat in his heart lies.
The dead tone of misbelief can be heard through the steamy lines connecting Tupelo to Omaha.
“Is this a real emergency?”
“Of course it is!” He pulls at his matted hair exasperatedly. He sighs into the phone, hearing the sound of nothing coming through the other line. He knows that the woman is still there. His eyes peer over, catching ones of an unhappy man, who seems to have spent most of his life on a toilet seat, chomping down America’s newest diabetes chain. The kid looks away. He shrinks to the icy glass walls and connects his mouth to the receiver with the palm of his hand. “I got shot.” He whispers. The woman strains to hear.
“Alright, then, the ambulance should be there anytime soon.”
“No!” He shouts, kicking at the glass, barely making much damage. “I can’t.” He slides down while the signs of his existence leak away. He’ll just be yesterday’s headline. He sees it in his head: RUNAWAY BLEEDS TO DEATH IN TUPELO PHONEBOOTH.
“And why is that? The ambulance is almost there.”
“Because I shot myself.” The woman sits in her calmly collected cubicle. Statuettes surround her, staring up at the ceiling. Magnificent in their everlasting beauty, just fucking glowing in their ability to never change. She looks down at her tired hands, her bones poking through at sharp, painful edges. She breathes in deep, her face modeling one who has stood and watched a beating take place...disgusted and angry, but scared shitless all the same. One who’s watched someone die over the period of four years during high school, only to find the real world exactly like high school. She’s loosing this one. She knows, deep down, she just knows this kid.
“The ambulance is there. Please stay where you are.” All she can muster up. Her life has lasted long enough, she’s decided. She wonders where his mind came from. That boy who used to run through her store and shout absurdities is now bleeding out from a dreadful phone booth in the middle of who the hell knows.
He wishes he could see the woman’s face, to figure out how heartless she really is. Is it only him? Or does she always speak so monotone, always feel so callous? Even when a sweet and innocent girl is dying…will she be the same? He shuns the phone, tossing it meekly from himself. His fingers slip as he reaches the sides. He scrambles to get up, aware that he can’t because of the gun shot wound in his side and how the blood is clambered onto his hands, making it almost impossible to reach the stale air on the outside. He gives up all together.
He can only think now of one thing. Daisies.
Daisies for no particular reason. Daisies that he’d never smelt. He liked smells, but he could smell absolutely nothing now. The pain was making him nauseous and delusional. He was sure he was about to die, because he smelt daisies. His face panics as he closes his puffy eyes. He hadn’t even realized he was crying.
The woman on the line breathes in. She sees her reflection, framed on a picture of fake people smiling. She likes to keep it on her desk, pretend that she has a family to go home to when all she really has is a finicky TV. Her face is wrinkled and her eyes bore into those reflected. She can’t help but feel alone. Lonely. Desperate. She buries her feelings, like she always does and turns her voice to that same robotic tone. How she hates it.
“Are you still there, sir?”
The kid can’t answer. He’s too lost. The people outside look in, horror stretching across their normally annoyed faces. But, this? He can’t help but shake under pressure. It's as if he's in a display case. They’re all watching him through the glass, trying to get in. He won’t let them in. He holds the door shut and leans back. He runs his bloodied hands all over his face. A man with a suitcase tries to be Superman. He bashes the glass and women around him swoon. But this kid couldn’t let anyone in. Secrets too dark to be heard by anyone, to even be repeated would fall vibrantly from his dying lips. They would drown the world in misery because one man wanted to be the hero.
The glass shatters, falls around the kid. In his hair, in his eyes. He’s worse off because someone wanted to know what was inside his feverish mind. He shouts, pleads to just be left there, because no one person can ever make him live again. But the man with the briefcase won’t listen, because he honestly couldn’t give two fucks about the kid. He only wants his Lois Lane.
It’s all just stupid pity, far too sickening to touch. They back away as he pleads insanity, his pupils so small, all you can see in blue…blue…blue. He isn’t blaming anyone. Isn’t looking at anyone, just up, past the coasted dark sky.
The woman hung up the phone and immediately wept. She didn’t care if anyone heard her, though no one would because she was always so quiet. She was too disgusted with herself, too pissed off at all the people she’d become. She tried to change, drown all those who she’d been in her tears. But the face she saw in the reflected glass of the happy people was too unfamiliar. Too terrifying. It only made her weep more, because now, now, she was looking on as an outsider, to the person she was. She saw what everyone hated about her. Her eyes felt toxic.
From Tupelo to Omaha, it could be heard through steamy static sessions of the like-minded fools.
“Don’t hang up.” He dared the woman, faltered in the last breath of air.