You carry his phone in your pocket.

Its weight, the closest you have now to holding his hand. Taking it out, you glance through his pictures, read his texts.

The phone is still alive. To shut it down would be to lose your last connection to him. A forever goodbye was the last thing on your mind upon waking that morning. The night before, he spoke to you through that phone. Why should it be in your possession now? In the background of your conversation, his wife’s voice urged. “Tell him. Tell him…” The rest, muffled. At the hospital through her tears, she explained he’d been off-kilter for a few days but insisted on not speaking of it, calling it a trifle.

As you study a picture of the two of you laughing together at a ball game — when overtime didn’t interfere with brother-time — a haunting thought echoes in your heart.

If you’d turned off your mind’s busyness and focused more on his voice, would you have heard warning bells?

The question rings through the air. But the phone doesn’t answer.

Roberta Kay weaves tales in the quiet before dawn, where dreams and reality tango and flow through her pen. A poet at heart, lifelong learner, and world wanderer, Roberta Kay writes stories that wrestle with the shadows and illuminations of this crazy-kaleidoscope-chaotic world.

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Every Day Fiction