Today through Monday, work is taking over my life more than usual. I will try to post, but I guarantee nothing.My days will be long, my drives will be longer, and by the time I get home at the end of each day I’m going to be exhausted. But it’s inescapable. I must go.
To apologize for my extremely sporadic posting schedule recently, here’s is some entertainment. This is a short story I wrote in college. I haven’t looked at it in years and after reading it it still needs some work, but it’ll do. Hope you like!
LostI walked through the café slowly, each step exactly a foot apart. The smells of coffee and freshly baked bread invited me to sit at one of their rose-colored, glass-top tables…but I was just passing through. And, besides, I’d eaten here not too long ago.Clinking glasses and the mumble of dozens of simultaneous conversations filled my ears, blocking out the sound I was looking for. The small eatery was nearly full, making my search more difficult.I knew it was here somewhere, hiding in between the black cushions of the bench seats or cowering behind the leg of one of the faux-wrought iron chairs. I clenched my hand around the one that I was holding, a near perfect replica of mine, but not my own.Black-clad servers hastily brushed past me, my slow pace obviously irritating them. I apologized each time—I’m so sorry—but I don’t think they heard. I made another pass, my third, before moving out of the café.Taking the same even, measured steps, I retraced my path. I had to find it. Leaving it here, there, wherever it had ended up, was not an option. I walked past crowds of people—businessmen and women dressed in far too many layers for the sweltering heat of the day, bike messengers flying past on their way to their next drop off, bums whose stench was both baked in and made worse by the heat of the sun—but none of them could help.I ran my hand along the brick face of the building I passed, its rough surface just as it had been an hour ago. My eyes swept the dirt-stained gray sidewalk, peering into each corner and crevice and hoping that this would be the one I would find it in.No such luck.I turned the corner and saw him leaning against my car. He looked up when he saw me, raising his eyebrow, but I shook my head. He rolled his eyes and looked away. I needed to find it. For his sake more than mine.I continued walking, each step bringing me closer to a new hiding place, a new spot it could be. I passed boutiques with colorful cotton dresses hanging in the window—overpriced versions of the mimics in Target and Wal-Mart—and restaurants and delis tucked into niches that didn’t even seem like they could fit a single person let alone a slew of them.Still, I didn’t see it.I walked up the steps to the library, its white stone façade as impressive as always. I touched the stone railing, warmed by the heat of the sun, and carefully gazed over the edge of the main floor, down into the landscaping below. Had it fallen?No. I didn’t see it.I gripped the one that didn’t belong to me tighter, flipping it open. Two clicks and I was checking again. I listened, but I couldn’t hear anything.He’d told me I couldn’t lose this one. I’m not going to buy you another one, he’d said. Better go see if you can find it. So I scampered off, looking for a thing I’d only gotten because he felt like I couldn’t keep track of myself without one.Not quite the case. I had a harder time keeping track of it.But the damn thing had become indispensable. Convenient. I couldn’t argue that. I didn’t know how to get through a day without one.I walked into the library, the rush of conditioned air refreshing me like rain after a drought. I ignored the goose bumps from the sudden temperature change and took a deep breath of the rich smell of books. It was a distinct smell that tickled my nose, almost making me sneeze.I flipped my replica open again and pressed the green button twice. Calling Hannah, the display said.Finally, I heard the sound I’d been waiting for—the annoying rattling of a cell phone against a wood table.I picked up my pace, rushing through the tables, when I heard someone comment loudly, Vibrate doesn’t make the phone silent.I blushed and clicked end, quieting my obviously annoying phone. I finally reached the table I had used that morning and grabbed the small silver phone. It’s casing felt cold against my skin, but I smiled to feel it in my hand again. I hated the completeness I felt with it, but I couldn’t give it up.I hurried back through the crowded streets to the waiting car.Found it? he asked. I nodded and slid into the car.Good, he said. I’m not buying you another one.