Her phone rings rings rings riiiing.
Hi, sweet baby
She drops the phone. Cries out.
Sweet baby sweet baby
The phone is still connected to the caller. She can hear her mother through the receiver.
Are you there, sweet baby?
Cries she cries. What the fuck
Don’t cry, honey. Talk to me, honey
She picks up the phone.
There you are, sweet baby. I miss you
What the fuck, Mom
I’m sorry, honey. It’s okay, sweet baby
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. Sweet sweet baby
I can’t breathe. Mom, I feel like I can’t breathe
You’re okay. Breathe. Sweetie, breathe
She feels weak. Still like dying.
Mom, where are you?
Come to the beach. Come to the beach, honey
She lets out a laugh, despite herself.
You’re at the beach? … Mom
Yes, sweet baby. I’m at the beach. I’ve been here a long time, honey
How can you be there, Mom?
I’m here, honey. I am. Listen, sweet baby. Listen, honey
Through the receiver, she hears. She hears the wind. The caws of the gulls. The cresting and the falling of the waves.