Mar 18, 2010

Carson - Short Story


She lit her first cigarette of the day, looked at her computer, and began thinking of him; over there, far away, where he was.
Recalling random moments they had spent together, long walks in the late afternoon, endless nights of non-stop talking on the phone, conversations, tears, laughs & surprises. She sighed, put out her cigarette & got up to feed the cat.



He opened his eyes. First thing he saw was her painting. That painting he loved so much draped the wall in-front of him. It had her signature, and her finger prints all over it. He looked at the alarm clock next to his bed. 11:30 am. Typical Saturday morning; Students are out and about outside his dorm room. He took a look around his messy room. Saw the stacks of untouched books on his desk, notes on reports & researches that are due. He frowned. His frown turned into a smile growing slowly into a huge wide grin when he saw their picture; she was in his arms, he was holding her tight from behind, she was laughing with her cheeks all flushed, his face pressed against her hair. He closed his eyes feeling it. Almost smelling it.

"Move your lazy ass, man", he opened his eyes quickly to see his room-mate storming into his room, "come on, we gotta hit the library before it closes, it's a Saturday don't forget. It closes at 2. We need books NOW..!"


The cat purred in her lap after having its first meal of the day. She checked her e-mail. NOTHING..! She saved all his e-mails since they were so rare. She read the last one she got.

hey beautiful…
miss ya.. um..everything's fine, the same.. starting work in a week, desperately need $$$..anywayz..take care love
bye..

The phone rang, fading away the romantic atmosphere that compelled her. It was her friend inviting her to a party tonight. She paused. Was she up for it? Going alone? ALONE..!! She'll call her back.
He was tying his shoe-laces. He looked up at the phone. The sudden urge to call her ran through him. He stood up looked at his wrist-watch - 12:15. Should he call? It's been a while. He'll call her when he gets back. She'll understand. She always does. She knows he's been busy & still is; with the new place, meeting new people..Etc.
He remembered how happy she was for him when he got the scholarship he's been aiming for. But how awfully sad she was that he had to move all the way across the country for it. How supportive she'd been. He wouldn't be able to make it her prom. She was a senior and he was a freshman in university, 2 years together!
The way he spent his last night back home. Goodbyes in the airport. Her eyes were so red & swollen from all the crying. He wondered if she was leaving for Carson, he knew she applied & with her grades she'd definitely be accepted.


A letter arrived. It was Carson. She got accepted. She had her final exam in 2 weeks. 2 weeks & her life as a senior high-school student will be over..!! She'll be a university student at Carson. She had to leave in July. But he was supposed to be coming in July. She doesn’t know if he is coming anymore. He hasn’t replied to any of her e-mails, and they started bouncing back. She couldn’t possibly leave. But she can’t waste this. Her FUTURE..!!!


It’s almost July. He was so excited. Finally! He missed her prom unfortunately. But he'll be there all summer. He always wondered why she stopped sending him e-mails. Was she that busy? To at least reply or answer the phone? It’s true he's not exactly been acting like a boyfriend should, but she knew he was busy to write or call. He'll explain it all to her. She’ll understand. She always does.


Her prom was great. She tried to have fun. She did so well on her finals. She worked so hard & it paid off. She deserved to be happy, finally. She was going to Carson. She was to leave in a couple of days. She never checked her e-mail anymore, but she was sick & tired of finding an empty inbox. He could call and he was never around when she called him. She hated his habit of not emptying his inbox or answering machine.
She had no where else to reach him, to call, or to write. No where to leave a message that she's leaving. And she slowly started losing hope, he had forgotten about her as should she.


He was there at last. First thing he did was go see her. Go to her place. EMPTY..!! FOR SALE..!! How can that be..?? Her neighbors told him she left to Carson. A while later, her grandmother died, and their house was put up for sale.  SHE LEFT? Had she given up on him..?? This was terrible. He left the same night; he didn’t want to stay another minute. He later learnt that she had tried so many times to contact him, but thought that he had forgotten all about her and how heart broken she was. He left his number with neighbors & friends, just in case.

Days, months, and finally a year went by. He figured she'd been having too much of a great time in Carson, that she forgot all about him, and moved on. He never forgot her. He never loved anyone else. It didn’t even cross his mind. He checked his answering machine & left his still empty dark flat. Left his misery for the night and went bowling.


Carson was great. People were really nice. She was getting good grades. But one thing was constantly on her mind. She had his number for a while, a year even. But she never called. He had moved out of the dorms and into his own flat. She was afraid. She was afraid of hearing a woman's voice on the other end of the line, and of having to deal with a lost memory of her.

But driving herself crazy with wondering ‘WHAT IF?’ wasn’t helping anyone either. She sat next to the phone, with his number in her hand. Trembling she picked up the receiver and dialed, the phone rand once, twice and on the third she heard his voice. She heard that familiar cracking husky voice. Tears welled up in her eyes and a chill ran down her spine. It was the answering machine. He said: “hey, if you're asking about my car I sold it. It’s Friday night and I'm out bowling. If you've got something to sell you're wasting your time I'm not buying anything please don’t call back. If it's anybody else wait for the tone you know what to do. P.S. if this is CARSON. I still love you."
The receiver fell to the floor. She couldn’t breathe. She heard but she couldn't believe. What kind of man would hang on that long? What kind of love must it be? She cried all night. She wanted him back so bad. She was going to make alright again. She was determined to fix it. And she will call tomorrow afternoon.


He got back home. Checked his machine. He found nothing as usual. He was heading for a friends’ lake house early the next morning for a weekend of fishing. And so he got his stuff ready, and went to sleep.


She dialed the number again. 3 rings and then she heard: “hey, if it doesn't rain Saturday morning I'm heading off to the lake & I'll be gone all weekend long. But I'll call you back when I get in on Sunday night. P.S. if this is CARSON. I still love you."
This time she left her number, and not another word. & she impatiently waited by the phone all weekend till finally it was Sunday evening.


He got back home, tired. The machine was flashing. That’s weird. Who could it possibly be..?? He checked it. All he heard was a woman's voice saying a number. It was an outer state number.

He dialed the number. The phone rang 3 times. Then he heard her. The woman. It was HER..!! Before he could say anything, she said: “hey, it’s Sunday night and I’m home doing nothing waiting for you to call, so if you're calling about my heart it’s still yours. I know I shouldn't have waited for so long. I realize now that I should’ve called earlier. Maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to know where I belong. Oh & by the way incase you didn’t know, this is not a machine your talking to. This is CRASON and I still love you.”

Fin