The Waves

Her phone rings rings rings – riiiing.

Hello

Hi, you little thing

She drops the phone. Cries out.

Little thing, little thing

The phone is still connected. She can hear her mother through the receiver.

Are you there, little lady?

Cries she cries. What the fuck

Don’t cry, honey. Talk to me, honey

She picks up the phone.

Still crying.

Mom . . . ?

There you are, little thing. Oh, I miss you

Mom She sobs. why why?

I’m sorry, honey. It’s okay, now

She sobs she sobs she feels like dying.

This isn’t real. Mom. This isn’t

Honey, I’m sorry

She’s on the floor. On her knees. One hand on the carpet.

Please, don’t cry. Little sweet thing

I can’t breathe. Mom.

You’re okay. Breathe. Sweetie, breathe

Mom

She feels weak. Like dying like dying.

Mom, where are you?

The beach. Come to the beach, honey

She lets out a laugh, despite herself.

You’re at the beach?

Yes. I’m at the beach. I’ve been here a long time, honey

How can you be there, Mom?

She cries.

I’m here, honey. I am. Listen. Listen, honey

Through the receiver, she hears. She hears the wind. The caws of the gulls. She hears. The early evening. The beach grass. The cresting and the falling of the waves.

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