"Hello?"  He answered the phone with a heavy sigh as he pressed his hands against his burning eyes.  It had been a long day and all he wanted to do was lay on his couch for the rest of the night.

            "Hey…"  She forced a smile as concern threatened to take over her tone.  He sounded awful.

            "Jenn… hey babe." His smile sounded genuine, but she could tell it was taking up the last of his energy.  "What's up?"

            "Not much, I was just calling to say hi and see how things were going."

            "It's going good."

            "Yeah?  That's cool."

            "Uh huh."

            "I ran into Ben yesterday, he said to tell you hi."

            "Yeah? I haven't talked to him since the weekend."  He sighed and rubbed his hand from his eyes up into his hair.  "He had a debate thing or something."

            "Karate.  Yeah."

            "That's right."

            "He did good.  Placed second in his age group."

            "That's awesome.  I'll have to call him."  He yawned and tried to keep his eyes open as the sound of rain began outside.  "It's raining."

            "It's raining here too."  She smiled and felt connected for the first time in weeks.

            "Rain makes me miserable."  He mumbled.

            "Sounds like it."

            "What?"

            "You… well you sound miserable."

            "I'm not."  He insisted weakly, as though even denying it made him that much more miserable.  "I miss you though.  So much."

            She paused for a moment as she pulled her jacket tighter around her.  "I miss you too."

            "So much."

            "So much."  She nodded.

            "Hey.  Check this out, this morning I was on my way to this meeting thing with this guy and I looked out the window on the train as we went across the Brooklyn Bridge?  Anyway, there was this seagull or whatever flying between the cables you know, holding the bridge up or whatever?  He was like, right there."

            "Yeah?"  Tears rose in her eyes as she heard him come to life.

            "It was poetic.  Really.  If I had a camera I would have taken like, a dozen pictures.  He was just like, floating through them.  Then he left."

            "Hmm."

            "I'll have to - I wonder if he does that every day?"

            "You'll have to go back and check."

            "Yeah."  He nodded and sunk back into his miserable state, the magic moment gone.  "I wanna write about something like that."

            "You should."

            "The freedom.  You know, with the Statue of Liberty in the background and the missing towers on the skyline."

            "Mmm hmm."  She nodded and leaned closer to the building, the cell phone getting warmer in her hand.

            "There are so many things around here that make me want to write, but I just… I can't, I mean… it's just not coming."

            "Yeah."  She nodded and bit her lip.

            "It must be because I'm here alone and everything.  I don't have you or Scotty or anyone to go 'hey listen to this' all the time."

            "You can always call and play over the phone."  She said softly.  He nodded and she could hear the rustle of clothing on his end of the phone. She knew that wasn't the same as being there.  "I miss hearing you play."

            "Me too."

            "Is your guitar handy?"

            "Uh huh."  He nodded, and knew what she was going to ask.  He picked it up and plucked a few chords.  "Any requests?"

            "City Love."  She smiled.

            "Depressing."  He shook his head and tried not to think of the lyrics that immediately flooded his mind.

            "It's not depressing."

            "It is when I'm sitting here on my couch with a guitar in my lap instead of my girl."

            She smiled and ran her finger over the buttons on the call box by the door.  "Just play it for me.  Make me happy."

            "That would make you happy?"

            "Yeah."

            "I'd do anything to make you happy."

            "I know."

            "Anything."  He said as he began to play the familiar song with the phone precariously wedged between his shoulder and ear.  His voice seemed to change as he sang the song they both knew well.

            He sighed as the last words left his lips… and she rang the bell.

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2003, Amy Lynn