7 Missed Calls

Note: Blogger’s original work. Don’t plagiarize. To those who would dare, as my friend Ayn says it, may the wrath of heaven and earth fall upon you. This is fiction. Please see legal and ethical reminders on the sidebar. Thanks very much.

Seven missed calls.

When I saw this flashed on my cellphone screen this morning, I knew my day would end this way. In a walk along this road connecting the college to Commonwealth Avenue. With you.

It’d been a while.

“How have you been?” Your voice was a bit shaky. If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you were nervous.

“Great,” I answered with a slice across my lower face. “And you? How’s London?”

“Well, it’s still London.” A slight laughter went through your lips.

And then, silence. I tried to come up with something to say to keep the conversation flowing but I couldn’t. I just felt I didn’t know you anymore. After two years of being away, I felt like nothing was ever the same with you.

“I want to tell you something.”

“Go ahead.”

You paused. Seemed hesitant to say it. “I’m leaving again. Next week. For good.”

“For Brisbane, I know. For what it’s worth, Australia is nearer than UK.”

“Yeah.”

And then, there was silence again. We were walking much more slowly than usual. I felt like I didn’t want to reach the end of this road.

“I want to tell you something.”

“You already told me.”

We reached the end of the road.

You suggested, “Tell you what. Why don’t we walk back and forth? You still like walking. Don’t you?”

“Yeah. Sure.”

And then our conversation hit another dead end. No one said a word for eight seconds, or so. It was my turn to break the awkward silence.

“Uhm, you know what, I missed this.”

“You did?” You smiled.

“Yeah.”

“You know what else I missed?” I avoided looking at you.

“What?”

“Your missed calls,” I replied. “You know, back when we were close friends…”

“We’re still close friends.” You interrupted me.

“You know, back then, before you left, you used to give me those missed calls. Seven missed calls. Every single morning. Never fails. Seven missed calls.”

“Haha. I’m glad I rang your phone seven times this morning.”

Dead end. We reached the other end of the road. It took another round of eternity for anyone of us to make a sound.

“Do you know what my favorite number is?” You turned around and started walking back.

I followed you. “What?”

“Seven.”

“Why am I not surprised?”

You snickered. I missed that, too. And then, we could hear the gentlest blowing of the wind again complimenting the sound of our footsteps, the only sound there is at the moment.

“I want to tell you something.”

“You still haven’t told me? I thought you already did.”

“Not yet.”

“So what is it?”

“Back then, you know, when we were close friends, er, those missed calls, uhm… It’s silly… but, well, er, did you know why I would ring your phone seven times?”

“Yeah. You told me it should serve as my alarm clock. But I just let you do it even when I was already awake.”

“Yeah. That’s right,” the last words for what felt like an hour and a thousand steps.

The silence amplified every tired breath and sigh that I let out in between yards. It wasn’t always like this. There was an ease in our exchanges of words before you left. It was smooth and flowing and comfortable.

“You never picked up.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You never picked up.”

“You wanted me to pick up?”

“Not really. I just wondered if you ever thought about picking up.”

“Well, yeah. I guess.”

Silence. Again. I saw you trying to start another conversation but you held back. So I saved it.

“Do you know my favorite number?” I asked.

“No. You never told me.”

“You never noticed?”

“What is it?”

“Eight.”

“Why?”

“You know, it just reminds me of continuum, you know, like infinity and all the unreal stuff.”

Your arms brushed with mine.

“Why do you like seven?” I asked.

“No reason. I just like it.”

I sat down and fixed my shoe lace even though it was totally fine.

“You know what, back then, every morning, every time my phone stopped ringing, I wished there’d be one more?”

“Why?”

“Because I told myself, ‘if it rings for the eighth time, I will pick up.’ But it never did. ”

“And what would you say? What would you have told me?”

“I would’ve told you…”

I got up, looked at him, and started walking again.

“You would’ve told me what?”

“Nothing.”

“Tell me.”

“I would’ve asked what those seven missed calls really meant.”

“Now you know.”

“Yeah.”

Another eternity of silence. Even God must have been bored with us.

I didn’t know whether it was my knees or my little tortured soul that got exhausted but at that moment I halted all of a sudden while you trod on until you realized I wasn’t with you anymore. You turned around and walked towards me. You looked at me, without a word, you just looked at me and your eyes spoke a million brave words that your cowardly being would not even dare to. The same words that I could not utter myself, either. You looked at me and I knew exactly what you wanted to tell me.

I was confused. “But back then, in college, you never told me. You didn’t even try to…”

You cut me off. “I tried. I tried to tell you. Every day. Seven times every morning. But you never answered.”

When I came home, my phone started ringing. And I couldn’t pick up. I just watched it vibrate on my side table. Seven rings, and then a seven-second pause and then seven rings again. The ringing seemed endless. When it finally stopped, a message was displayed on my phone screen: “7 missed calls.”

It would ring again. One more.

Comments

  1. wow…i don’t know how to describe it…kakilig and at the same time a little tragic…i love the combination…the sincerity…the longing. hays…i love the way you wrote it…

  2. Awwwwwwwwww. Haahaha, puro awww lang ang masasabi ko. I liked it! Nice little story. I kinda missed reading these stories of yours hahaha. I believe these are why I started stalking your blog =]

  3. may naalla tuloy ako..i used to receive 3 missed calls every morning and every night dati..hay..nice entries yoshke!:)

  4. wow.galing naman neto.

    uhm hi, i’m interested in your blog. ngayon nga lang ulet ako nakabisita sa site mo.

    love the story!

  5. Now I’m beginning to be a fan of yours. I started reading your blog since the other day.

    As for this, why walang may guts magsabi kung ano talaga yun nararamdaman ng bawat isa. kinda nakakainis pero sweet 🙂

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