sometimes we build walls

from that WIP I haven’t posted from in weeks

Petal wakes to Bear sitting now, sitting on the floor and staring at his phone. The light of the phone is blue on his face and Petal wonders how much longer they can afford this hotel room, neither of them have been to work in months. Maybe they can steal keys for other rooms and randomly crash in random hotel rooms each night, hiding out, secret squatters? She pushes this thought from her mind and pushes her hair out of her face and looks at the alarm clock by the bed. Three AM, three am, THREE AM.

“Bear, what’s wrong?”

And she’s hoping he’ll talk he’ll respond.

She’s about ready to give up on communicating and roll over when his Bear voice speaks. It’s all dusty now from lack of use but it’s still there, it’s still Bear, and it’s tinged with sadness and such in ways that are hard to tell unless you know him. Like subtle cracking of vowels and whispering some words so they come out like crushed leaves.

“She left a voicemail.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah.”

She wants to push him for more information but decides against it. It could be a good voicemail, it could be a bad voicemail, but in either way the tone in Bears voice makes it a sad voicemail, existing beyond good or bad.

So she waits for a moment unsure of what to say or how to comfort him.

Eventually he turns the phone in his hand, spinning it in his fingers.

“She’s something else, I guess. Somewhere else.”

“What do you mean?”

“I think the call was an accident, like it was from her sitting down and the phone dialing it for her. I heard, well, voices, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I heard her voice for a second, but it wasn’t saying anything, it was all muffled.”

“Was she in trouble? Did she sound scared?”

“No, she sounded. Well, I don’t know how she sounded. Not scared. Not happy. Not sad. Just existing.”

“Existing.”

“Yeah. Maybe. Maybe she wanted. To leave. You know?”

“Leave you?”

“I guess. Leave us.”

There’s a silence again and Petal goes on the floor and rubs his back to try and comfort him again. And he scoots away again, holding the phone, staring at it.

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