“This is impossible,” I whisper into the phone immediately followed by, “Why am I whispering?”
There is a tick in the throat of my own voice before it repeats the words I first heard upon picking up.
“Listen carefully. I… we don’t have much time. We… I…” Another hesitation which I know is followed by an inevitable eye roll. Which I can almost feel happening when it is impossible. “… need your help.”
“Is this some sort of prank?” My eyes pass around the coffee shop.
“Stop! Don’t do that!” Unmistakably Me hisses in my ear.
The hairs on my neck stand on their own so rapidly it feels as if someone is pulling them out all at once with a tweezer.
“You can see me?” My grip on the phone tightens as my palm becomes slick with sweat. It must be evident that the conversation I am having might be a stressful one as the person seated to my left looks at me with concern.
“You, okay?” Is mouthed at me.
I try to nod and smile or smirk or provide some sort of reassurance.
The most absurd question falls from my lips, “Can I call you back?” I am not sure if it is for me or for the person who continues to watch me on my left. My nod obviously doing nothing to dispell the worry arched in their brows.
My voice on the other ends scoffs actually scoffs down the receiver back at me. “Is this a joke? Put your things away and slowly get up. Make whatever excuse to that person to your left you want, but get out of there now.”
“Do I stay on the line?” I tuck the phone between my cheek and shoulder as I rifle my laptop and notebook into my backpack.
“Yes.” The word escapes lips pursed tight.
I’m on my feet trying to sling the bag over my shoulder and maintain control on my shaky legs. Passing by the worrier I mouth, “Family emergency.”
The nod is barely noticed but I can still see something in the eyes of the person before I completely pass them.
It is ten steps to the door. I don’t know how I count them. I barely register the bell ring above me to signal my exit.
As soon as I am outside the door I hear the voice which is my own but not coming from me, “Turn right and walk slowly to the end of the block. Once you’re there cross the street on your left and continue on.”
Once I’ve crossed and pass the second building completely out of view of the coffee shop I am startled by the words which come next, “Run!”
I don’t know how I do it, but I throw myself forward as I hear the unmistakable sound of glass breaking followed by screams.
Hello Dearest Readers,
I had no idea where this one was going in all honesty. I feel like I might have strayed slightly from the intent of the writing prompt or maybe it is just me.
As always I would love your thoughts in the comments below letting me know:
- where you would have taken the story?
- what you think happened at the coffee shop?
- why does it seem like the other version of her was asking for help when it appears she was the one helping/rescuing herself?
Hoping you are having a lovely Wednesday!
Postscript: Today I leave my current city behind to go back home for an indeterminate amount of time. I am awash with emotions which are so conflicting.