** X is for err... EX (slight cheat...)! **
This is a short story I write inspired by a prompt: Receiving a call from someone from your life ten years ago.
An Unexpected Caller
I recognise the number blinking up at me from my mobile phone’s screen. It’s a number ingrained on my memory since 2003. Surely it can’t be him?
“Louise? It’s Craig. Craig Mitchell - from Cheltenham.” As if I needed reminding where I knew him from. It was one of those moments when it feels like no thoughts pass through your mind , yet there are a million fighting to be heard. Maybe that’s what a feeling of shock feels like, I pondered briefly.
“Craig from Cheltenham?” I replied, slightly tongue-in-cheek. “Hi, how are you?” All natural like. I mean, why would it be weird for my childhood sweetheart to call me after a 10 year break? I wondered how he had my number still after a decade, but if I can remember his digits, maybe he could remember mine… Interesting.
“Good, good, I’m good… erm… I’m getting married.”
Now I’m confused. Surely he’s not after my permission? God, I hope he’s not getting cold feet in a fit of nostalgia. Well, a tiny part of me hopes that – it would be a compliment if he was!
“Ah! Congratulations, what’s her name?” What else could I say? I hadn’t a clue he was seeing anyone, let alone who she was. ‘I should be asking why he’s calling...’
Craig reveals the woman he’s marrying is named Jenny and pours out a whole profile about her; how she’s a nurse, how she loves to travel – “like you,” he added – how it’s going to be a small event… That’s one motive for the sudden call I can discount – I won’t be getting a wedding invite.
He eventually tails off. Craig always did that when he was nervous, almost running out of anxious steam to power his outburst. There was a long pause. I remember his hazel eyes. His fine hair and the juxtaposition of his coarse late-teenage beard. I remember the first piece of jewellery a man ever gave me. I remember the Yorkshire Dales.
“Well, congratulations, I’m pleased for you.” I wince at the repetition of good wishes. Is it a little transparent? I’m suddenly eager to get off the phone. “Nice to hear from you, best of luck for – “
“No, don’t go!” he interrupted. “Wait – Jenny… She wants to meet all my ex girlfriends before we tie the knot.”
Tomorrow's a day off the challenge - day of rest - and then there's just two more days to go on the April A-Z blog Challenge!
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Born to be a Tourist
Image courtesy of Sarah's Scribbles