Heart Click

Jul 6, 2013 by

She can hear the clicking. Maybe it’s not a clicking but more of a hum of the escalator behind her. She’s staring at the text but not really seeing it. Not yet. A little girl and a little boy with their father squeal and laugh at something as they pass her by in a blur. A woman on her phone comments about the price of coffee. A man holds the hand of his boyfriend and complains about the cold. She can hear their footsteps hitting the tile, hitting the escalator. Hitting the pavement. A car honks distantly from above and she thinks that if she could just hold her breath a little longer she might hear the sound pigeons make when they are all startled to take off at once.
The screen is the eye of Mordor but she doesn’t have a ring and Sam’s given up on Frodo and she can’t breathe. She can’t.
Back from doctors, it read. Then, It’s cancer. –Mom.
She always signed her texts. It didn’t matter how many times she’d patiently sit her down with the phone and show her that each one came with her name at the very top, see? There was no need to sign it. She knew who they were from.
A little bar beneath the words urged her to type text here. A cursor blinked.
The world idly kept on turning but she’s still. She’s so still. Everything is still.
Cancer.
The word is the taste of ashtrays in her mouth and in her mind.
She can hear the clicking. Maybe it’s not a clicking but more of the wail of a little girl alone in the subway with her mother in her heart.
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