The telephone rings, you answer it.
The voice is quiet, you listen to the unfamiliar voice, you’ve been waiting for this call. You pick up a pen from the side and write an address on a notebook, a notebook you brought for this moment. It’s a twenty minute walk, you’re surprised and kind of disappointed it’s taken so long when they live so close.
You know what to do. You put keys in the pocket of your jeans and leave out the back door. The night is calm; the air is fresh and fills your lungs as you take a few deep breaths. In, out, in and out.
On the way you appreciate finer details of the neighbourhood. Your footsteps echo through the dead of the night. Each step defines the scene; you’ve lived for this moment you savour it. The moon is alive, full and beautifully lonely in a bed of stars. It leads your path as the nights darkness protects you.The moon has always been a friend, you remember looking up at it as a child, the nights scared you and the moon was a familiar face. You’re thankful for the company. Being scared of the dark is still better than being scared of the light.
You stand outside the front of the house leaving the moon behind as you enter the back yard. A window is ajar; you smile, could this be any easier? The kitchen smells of him, your breaths become short and steady. You ascend the stairway, quietly. Each step descends you through time, you’re that little boy again, scared. Fragile. Alone. The smell of him becomes stronger like heat from an approaching flame.
You enter the room and watch him sleep for a while, how dare he sleep. How can he be so carefree? Why isn’t he haunted? This bewilders you, angers you. The rhythm of your heart dominates the room, making you fear it will wake him. Your hands reach out towards his neck, they are tiny, child like, delicate. Blinking brings them back to reality; you refuse to be that little boy anymore.
You can see he has aged; his once strong body looks frail. This doesn’t lessen your anger or make you feel any pity for him, in fact it excites you, fills you with pleasure. As your hands grab his turtle like neck his eyes meet yours, he knows who you are. You feel like he too had known this moment would come.
No words are spoken as he struggles.
You thought you’d say something. You don’t regret the silence. Watching life leave the bastard is enough for you.
The telephone rings, disturbing you. Cold sweat. You look around the familiar room. You answer the phone, Mum. “Hiya Mum” you say. “Yeah, I must have fallen asleep in front of the television again.” You listen as she tells you about her day and scribble on the notepad next to the telephone.