By Simon Graves
Copyright 2014 Simon Graves
All Rights Reserved
No part of this e-book may be reproduced or shared by any electronic or mechanical means, including but not limited to printing, file sharing, and email, without prior written permission from the author except in the case of brief quotations used in articles or reviews.
all set, sir!” the perky, young associate handed the bag to
“Thank you,” Jamie replied. A smile plastered on his face, a smile that was starting to crack. So many things had gone wrong lately. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep it up.
Jamie held tight to the bag that contained his new phone as he made his way to the car. Taking a seat behind the wheel, he pulled the phone out of the bag and started opening the packaging. He held down on the phone’s power button for a moment. The associate had promised the device would come charged. After a pause, the light blinked and the phone started to come to life.
There was at least one thing that was going according to plan.
It had been two months since Steve disappeared. Jamie had come home that evening with takeout. A twinge of dread crept into his stomach when he came upon the slightly open front door. The takeout hit the floor when he stepped inside and saw the place a disaster. And the blood. There was so much blood. The police were ruling it a homicide even though they never found a body. That’s what Steve was now, a body.
Wrapped in a blanket, Jamie stood out in the yard shivering in the warm summer night. He overheard a couple of the officers talking about no one could lose that much blood and still be alive. Shock overtook him as they rattled off their theories to how his lover had been murdered.
He didn’t know if he’d ever be the same after that night.
Later that month, he was in a car accident. Then a couple days ago, he lost his phone. It was one thing after the next. Now, sitting in the parking lot of a strip mall, he waited for his phone to boot up. The phone finished and Jamie started making sure everything had transferred over.
He opened up his contacts and started scrolling. His heart made a little tremor when he passed Steve’s name. The police had confiscated Steve’s phone that night. There was no point in keeping it any longer. It had been three months; no one was looking for Steve. Maybe this would help him start moving forward. Jamie highlighted the number, and his finger hovered over the “Delete Contact” button. He couldn’t bring himself to press down.
Instead, Jamie’s finger found itself drawn to the call button. Maybe this is what he needed. He’d call the number one last time. It had to be disconnected by now, or the carrier had given it to someone else, or maybe he’d get to hear Steve’s cheesy voicemail greeting one more time. It couldn’t hurt.
He pressed the call button and held the phone in front of his face. The phone trilled at him.
And then the other line picked up.
“Hey babe,” Steve’s voice answered.
Jamie sputtered and nearly dropped the phone.
“Hello?” Steve asked. “Are you there?”
Jamie’s trembling hand raised the phone to his ear. “Steve?”
“There you are,” his boyfriend happily answered. “Have you left work yet? I’m starving!”
“Steve, is that really you?”
“Of course it is. Are you all right? You sound weird.”
Jamie fumbled for the right words to say, but nothing would come out.
“Wait, is that you at the door?”
“What? No. Where are you?"
Jamie could hear the lock click on their front door and Steve’s surprised reaction. “It’s about time… Who are you? No… Stop it… Jamie!”
Jamie listened as the phone hit the floor. The speaker filled with sounds of struggle and screams of agony. This was the night Steve had died; he was reliving it. Jamie screamed into the phone words of nonsense and love and hatred for the man who was killing his boyfriend. A type of madness swept over him as he fell upon the steering wheel, wishing he had been there. Wishing he left work a little earlier that night. Wishing he was the one who had been taken.
“Help… me…” uttered Steve breathlessly before the phone went dead.