A wakening voice
He tried standing still or “floating still” but instead thrashed about, wanting to feel something. The voices came back, but it wasn’t the same voice as before. It had a different tone to it. It was another woman who was not talking about him. It was distant, as if she wasn’t in the same fishbowl as he was, and trying to communicate remotely from her own bowl. He slowed down his desperation and listened.
The voice was loud but shouldn’t be because she wasn’t yelling, and realization flashed in Dave’s mind with a sudden surprise. It was a voice coming from a TV or loudspeaker, and David recognized it immediately.
“Good Morning, it’s six o clock in New York, and we begin with breaking news. A horrific plane crash took the lives of 52 passengers and crew, except for two.”
“Did I miss my flight? Wait, what? Except for two?”
He heard a click, the sound went off, and the woman’s voice was gone.
David packed his journal in his backpack. A leather-covered diary Cynthia gave him for his birthday. The last birthday gift he would get from her. Taking one last look around the apartment, he noticed a visible layer of dust. The dishes he wasn’t taking with him were in the kitchen sink, stacked but not washed. David heard a knock and he walked across the living room to open the front door. He greeted a man displaying an emblem on his uniform, a trucker cap on his head and a weathered leather satchel attached to his belt.
“I’ll be right out.”
The man nodded and headed back to his truck, which was already sealed and locked shut. The trucker hopped in the driver’s seat and turned on the radio. David turned around to look inside their house one last time. His furniture was out, the windows and drapes shut and closed. Touching the front door frame with his palm, he said aloud, hoping for that someone to hear.
“I’ll do this for you.”
David took his last steps out of the life he’d lived for a decade. On the front porch, he dug into his pocket for the key, and locked the door feeling the bolt slide into place. He walked down a short path to the waiting moving van and had a chat with the man in the truck.
“Hey, I’m texting you the address one last time to confirm, OK?”
The driver looked at his phone, “that’s it,” he said, nodded as he had done at the front porch of his house, and drove off.
Dave stood there waiting when a black and white taxicab rolled to a stop.
“Sir, are you Mr. David?
“That’s me,” he said and hopped in the back of the checkered cab with his carry-on luggage. “To the airport, please, domestic departures, terminal A.”
They sped down the highway and, after twenty-five minutes, took the airport exit, where the car made a wide turn and eventually stopped at the departure’s hall. A muffled “goodbye and have a safe trip” was uttered, and he paid for the fare and walked toward the revolving doors of the terminal building. Inside Departures, he kept a safe distance from everyone. Of course, there was the unusual person that came closer than he liked. His immediate unconscious reaction was to back away, even though he and everyone in line were wearing masks. He found himself looking into people’s eyes and was startled at the reaction he saw when he bruskly backed away.
The last 6 months had influenced his reactions to a point where he couldn’t control them even if he wanted to. It had made him sad at first, then angry, then cautious, and now determined. The wait in line for tickets was not long, but enough for him to drift off into a daydream. A behavior that had become a habit over the past 6 months.
WE&P by: EZorrilla.
Special thanks to: Simon Cartagena