Welcome to this week’s Fiction Friday. Here is a revised version of a story I wrote some time ago, and the prompt was ‘answering machine.’ I took it very literally and transcribed the messages left for a fictional girl named Mia.
The text that’s aligned on the right is the answering machine (Mia’s side) and the text on the right is the person who’s calling.
This is Mia!
Please leave a message
at the beep-boop!
Beep. Don’t be late! Meet me at the dock at five!
Beep. Shit shit shit shit. This isn’t the right number. I need your mom’s number Mia!
Beep. For the love of- UGH! Mia put your mom’s number on your answering machine!
Beep. Hi Mia. Its me, Lynne. I just got back from the serivce. I wanted to say hi and – I just got back, you know, from the service. I miss you. Call me- never mind.
Beep. Lynne again. It rhymes, remember? That’s what you always said. Its been a week, did you know that? Someone came to talk to me, at school. They think I’m not handling everything well. Its just- call me.
Beep. They said I should journal my feelings. Since you never pick up, I’m leaving them here for us both. An open book for the two of us. Can you hear me from, you know, where you are?
Beep. I love you. Call me soon.
Beep. One month. One month since I rented that damn boat. Call me. If you can forgive me.
Beep. You always said I was a lightweight. If you were here, you’d say you didn’t envy the hangover I have. Call me.
Beep. I miss you. Call me.
Beep. I always end these with call me. Like that song we danced to at 8th grade prom. I’m in denial, just like Carly.
Beep. Can you forgive me? I wanted to have the time of our lives when I rented that boat. You never told me you couldn’t swim.
Beep. Remember Ryan? He sat by in in Junior English. He keeps tweeting me to check up on me. Call me.
Beep. I always ask you to call me. I want to hear your voice again, more than just the automated sound that the answering machine breaks.
Beep. Graduation is tomorrow. They wanted me to speak since I knew you best. I will if you call me.
Beep. I’m sorry.
Beep. Two months.
Beep. I’m giving swim lessons this summer. Everyone needs to learn how to swim.
Beep. I just want to hear those words you say. Your answering machine. If you were here today, would you still love me? But you’re not here and-
Beep. I have to say it, thats what everyone says. But I can’t. I can’t accept it.
Beep. I killed you.
Beep. Its all my fault.
Beep. I should have made sure you knew how to swim when I rented that boat.
Beep. I don’t know what I would do without Ryan.
Beep. Your mom said she’s disconnecting your phone line. It seems I’m not the only one who has to hear your voice every few days. She says we have to move on.
Beep. Your mom is right. We have to move on. I have to move on.
Beep. I don’t want to move on.
Beep. I always told you to call me because I wasn’t ready to accept that you would never call me again. I love you.
Beep. They’re disconnecting your phone tomorrow. I recorded your answering machine for rainy days.
Beep. Where ever you are, I hope you’re happy. I know you made it a better place.
Your call cannot
be completed as dialed.
Hello Mia – uh. This is Ryan. Remember me from English class? You probably wouldn’t. Just calling to let you know that I’m going to propose to Lynne. Its been three years, I hope everyones ready. If you don’t want me to marry her, make my phone stop working or something. I’ll understand. I’m glad they haven’t given anyone else your number yet or this would be weird. If this is some bloke’s answering machine I’m sorry.
Your call cannot
be completed as dialed.
MIA I’M GETTING MARRIED!
Its strange to think that four years ago I sat in class and wrote this, about a girl who’s friend passes away Senior Year of high school and here I am, less than a month shy of graduation recovering from the death of my former boyfriend. Does that mean something? I don’t know. All I know is: I don’t believe in coincidences, I believe in God.
From Lynne and I,
Hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Tell them what they mean. Never let a fight or a disagreement simmer. You’re not promised a tomorrow, theres no guarantee that you’ll see them again. If you want to say ‘I’m sorry we broke up, but you’re still awesome’ or ‘please drive safely’ then please do. You may not get another chance.