Merwin's Antipode (Part Eight)

“You need to put this behind you. Then give it to her.”

“I do.” He glanced at the rose.

“Do you still have what I gave you? You need to do this. I’m glad. Good, Merwin.”

“Yes, I am. Yes.”

“You’re going to see her, aren’t you?”

“I can’t do this anymore. Jeez, I’m just trying to figure it all out. I’m… stuck in traffic. In the car.”

“Where are you now?”

“Don’t say it, Lane.”

“We all loved her.”

“Don’t say that name.”

“You loved Julienne.”

“I made a mistake. I was weak. Look, Lane, I’m sorry.” The windshield wipers flicked across his field of vision. Merwin sighed and leaned on the steering wheel.

“I understand.” A single sob escaped the line.

“We’re… we’re through, alright? There never was anything. There’s nothing anymore. Stop calling me! Forget it, Lane!”

“I just wanted to say… about the other day—” The girl took the silence as an invitation. This was the last person on earth he wanted to talk to right now. Merwin tightened his grip on the phone but said nothing.

“Hey, it’s Lane.”


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