Exceedingly Small

Standard Practice

The cell phone danced on the desk.
Vin kept it on silent.
He always looked at the incoming
number before deciding to answer.

Strange numbers were always
answered. Calls from his wife
were left to voice mail.

It wasn't always like this

There was a time Vin never missed a
call. He lived with his cell phone to his ear.

Since he'd married Hannah, who,
unable to find work had little to
occupy her save their son Freddie,
she tended to ring him every hour
on the hour.

It was nagging, complaining,
arguing...she once called him while
he was driving to work to complain
he'd left the cap off the toothpaste...

His friends, who could have called
him at 2 am without complaint had,
since his marriage, become 'pests'.

As he probably wouldn't be able to converse if Hannah was around, he
only answered on rare occasions so they stopped calling.

A few times...

Kyle, who had been his best friend, had called him about a football match. Vin, thinking it concerned the favour he'd forgotten to do hadn't answered.

Kyle had used the ticket to take someone else.

Ginny had called to tell him that the sofa he wanted was on sale at a particular store; but Vin hadn't answered. It sold out by the time he checked his voice mail.

The losses were weighed, but compared to having to explain to his friends why his wife controlled his breathing, well, he once had pride.

Voice Mail

Vin glanced at the phone.
The caller was his wife.

He shoved the cell phone into a drawer, got up and went to another section of the building.

No one knew where he was, that was
intentional. His work pressure was
heavy, he needed cool out time, and
he'd get it in the lunch room of the
other section which had a friendly crew.

After lunch Vin returned to his desk and the guy in the other cubicle said;

"Mr. Samuels was looking for you..seems important..."

Vin went into Samuel's office.

The Event

"Have a seat," Mr. Samuels said with some gravity.

Vin was going to explain why he hadn't finished the project he was working on and/or visited the site he was requested. But Samuels didn't speak about that.

"Vin, I have some bad news...."

Fired? Was he going to Fire me?

"Your wife..."

What does she have to do with anything?

"Was involved in a motor vehicle accident..."

"What? Where? She wasn't supposed to be out..."

"Your little boy fell and she took him to the hospital..."

"What?"

"Apparently the car she was in got into an accident..."

"What car?"

"She's at Downstate...I asked Simmonds to take you..."



Denouement

Vin had no idea where he was. He reached for his cell phone to call...but his cell was in his desk drawer.

The ride seemed an hour but was only twelve minutes. Vin hurried in wildly. After a few minutes of excitement he became coherent enough to be directed to Intensive care.

Before he got near the rooms the doctor was in his face.
His wife and son were dead.

When he could Think

Somehow there was a funeral, somehow he was home holding his wife's possessions. Among them was her cell phone.

Why he bothered to plug it in, why he looked over the history was salt in a wound. His wife had made a number of calls to his cell that day. The last just about the time of the accident.

But his cell phone was still in his drawer at the office.

Guess he'd never have to ignore her calls again.


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