“I’m mostly okay,” she breathed into the mobile phone resting between her ear and a drool-stained cream pillow she kept on the bed, for those nights where slumber was more likely than wakefulness. “I hardly miss him at all. It’s not like we were steady or anything. Just checking each other out. You know.”

The voice ear-worming into her ear from the mobile phone sounded metallic and cardboardy all at once because of the times she’d dropped the damn thing onto concrete, for gods’ sake. She was a klutz; there was no denying it.

“You sure?” Old boyfriend who wished he was current boyfriend. She knew it was sweet of him to care, but she couldn’t get over the feeling he cared more so that he could get in her pants than he cared about her not-quite-breakup-with-not-quite-Tom-almost-boyfriend. “I mean, I know how you get at times.”

That, Luke did know, but she wasn’t going to confirm or deny any such rumors. “I should go. Thanks for checking up on me, though… It means a bunch to me.”

“You’re okay, though, right?” This is exactly why they’d broken up. Sometime you had to take things at face value and the boy couldn’t seem to do that.

“I’m fine. Stop with the mother hen routine, ‘kay?”

“Alriiiight, as long as you’re okay.”

“I said –“

“I know, you said you’re okay. Let it go, am I right?”


She didn’t want to play the hang-up game Luke liked to play when it was time to say goodbye, so she didn’t let him drag it out and hung up.

She took a deep breath and held it a moment before blowing it out. Then she dug the electrical wire from under her blanket, the stiff stuff her father had in his workshop that went inside walls whenever he had the urge to add another outlet to a wall that he felt had inadequate places to plug in something electronic, and she continued to her work of crossing out Tom’s name from her thigh with it’s sharp copper end. Cancelled, she thought, though it hadn’t been promising at all in retrospect.

This time, she didn’t wince.

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