Tuesday Nights

I sit next to the same pay phone, peeling away at the corners of the Red Bull sticker he had put there only a few months before. Every Tuesday, when the sky turns the color of my grandma’s wine, I sit down and uncover the layers of his sticker.

Sometime soon after the street is empty, and the sky melts into a darkness that seeps its way into your very being, the phone rings a tune I have learned to love.

I have my pocketful of quarters, collected from the cracks, where they were dropped and forgotten long ago.

I put one in, picking the phone up.

I hear his baritone sigh, I smile into the phone.

“My beautiful,” his voice resonates into me.

I slide my body down onto the frigid concrete, I look into the nothingness, “my handsome.”

“I miss you,” I can see his lips pout into a frown.

“I miss you too,” I stare at the frayed sticker.

I listen to his breath, heavy and warming even from cities away.

“When?” I play with the strings from my destroyed jeans, “when will you be home?”

“Soon my love.”

“You keep saying that.”

“What should I do about it? It’s not like we have a choice.”

I pull at my pants, with the waistband too tight. I unbutton them, watching my stomach expand. I peel at his sticker, hesitant to say anything.

“We wait,” I whisper.

Little icicles run down my face, I long to tell him, to have him kissing my stomach with excitement.

I know, I’m holding onto something that’s not in my grasp anymore.

“I’m out of time, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Tuesday,” and then the line goes flat.

Another Tuesday has gone by, I hold my stomach. I know he’s not coming back. Do I blame him? No.

When will I tell him? I’m not sure, I don’t want to lose him. I need to keep pretending he hasn’t strayed away from me, maybe, just maybe I haven’t lost him.

I button my pants, “next week, we will tell him ok?”

I lean my head on the pay phone box, putting the phone back on the hook. So, until someday, whenever that may be, it’s just Tuesdays.

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