Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

Andrea Girolamo
Long Island, New York USA



Me: Hello?
Catherine: Wow, hi. I've been trying you all night.
Me: I know, I forgot my phone. I'd have called if I could have. I was Nick's house--remember Nick Preziosi? He went to Seneca with us?
Catherine: I think I do. I have a lot of time to just sit around remembering.
Me: You sit? Are there chairs where you are?
Catherine: More or less.
Me: "More or less?" So you ended up in Limbo?
Catherine: Sense of humor hasn't changed, has it?
Me: I guess not. Hey, you know I watched Twin Peaks tonight. A couple of episodes.
Catherine: We watched the movie... At Kristin's house. I remember! And none of us understood it.
Me: I'm not going to claim I really understand much now, either. How are you?
Catherine: ...difficult to say.
Me: I'm glad you called--talk about unexpected. Hey did you know the night you died Kenny screwed up and called me Laura?
Catherine: Did you finally break up with him?
Me: Not then, but soon after. He broke up with me actually. He's married now to Laura. They have kids.
Catherine: That's plural, kids!
Me: Two. He's really religious now.
Catherine: Whatever happened to Ryan?
Me: (hesitate, thinking about how he felt me and everybody else up at the junior banquet) There's a gap I don't know anything about, but I think he might have been a marine for awhile. Now he waits tables at Houlihan's.
Catherine: By the mall?
Me: Yeah.
Catherine: How's my sister?
Me: I don't know, actually. I saw her once or twice after the funeral, but that was years ago. I was driving through your neighborhood the other day on my way back from Panera, and I suddenly had the same thought.
Catherine: I bet she's blaming herself.
Me: Me too. You can't just, like, look down and see how she's doing?
Catherine: No. It's better that I don't, anyway.
Me: Oh... hey, you know the only thing I've ever really wanted to say was that in the year following your death, Marissa and I never stopped thinking about you. We loved you.
Catherine: I loved you, too. Is the pet shop still in the Holbrook Commons?
Me: ...um, actually, they replaced it. It was an opticians'... now it's a liquor store.
Catherine: That's a shame.
Me: They buried you in your riding coat, you know.
Catherine: I'm glad.
Me: You don't have much to say, do you?
Catherine: It's harder to talk than I thought it would be. I thought I'd have all these insightful things to tell you about the end of living, about what it would be like, but now I'm hearing a voice I used to know and I'm thinking about the end.
Me: Were you in pain?
Catherine: No, it was very quick.
Me: ...you know... at the funeral, Frank and I hugged. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment.
Catherine: Take as much of that with you as you can. The funeral wasn't supposed to be about me, anyway.
Me: What?
Catherine: Funerals aren't about the people who actually died, come on. If they were, I'd have had a closed casket and a little dignity. They're about supporting people who loved that person in a time of loss. It's good you were both there.
Me: (remembering what she looked like in the open casket, bloated, with a fake hand) Um, so... Kristin's married now. To an army guy, I think.
Catherine: Is she happy?
Me: I think so. You should check her MySpace.com profile.
Catherine: Ha ha, I will. You're not married are you?
Me: No. Not even close.
Catherine: You know, up here, I'm still 16.
Me: In my heart you're still 16.
Catherine: I should get going. There's a line.
Me: Call me again sometime.
Catherine: I'll see you when I see you.
Me: I love you. Remember Amaz-n-skates.
Catherine: I will. Love you, too.