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That Night

I stand in the phone booth, a droning buzz fills the space. Flickering light on the inside matches the chains of lightning outside. Both portend monumental shifts.

Less than twenty four hours ago, you professed your love. Less than one, you told me it was over. Shocked, I left, drove away. A dream it must have been. I had to hear it one more time.

The crackel signals that you have picked up the phone — the line is connected.

I ask you why.

You give no answer.

I beg for some type of explanation.

The hum of the line is the only response.

You tell me you are sorry. I ask if you meant what you said about loving me.

More silence.

Your sister’s voice comes on the line. She tells me it is over. I must accept it. I ask to speak to you.

A click, silence and then a tone.

The door screeches along its rail as I exit the booth. A growing rumble from the skies, a crack, a bolt — Mother Nature unleashes a torrent.

She cries with me.

I drop to my knees. A second or two passes, the light from the booth fades. Black clouds block

the moon and the stars.

Darkness takes my soul.

My heart empties of love.

My mind hardens against romance.

It was that night, so many decades ago I gave up on romantic love. I gave up on the idea of a soulmate. I steeled myself against the cruelty of future false proclamations.

It was that night, so many decades ago, that I chose to wall off my emotions and to embrace the wild.