I Keep Hearin’ You

“It’s me,” comes the voice on the recording, rough and shaky. “I know I said I wouldn’t call. I know. But m’pretty sure y’don’care one way’r’th’other, specially if’s’versus not callin and endin up in a dumpster.” Her voice is alternately at a comfortable rasp, and a high, thready thing that sounds halfway like panic.

“S’cold out. Didn’t think it’d be this cold. Wishin I’d stayed away, but I keep comin back, like I keep hearin you,” she’s saying, and she’s half-dreamy and all bitter, and the consonants she drops are the ones you would’ve, when exhausted.

“Thought I’d’ve figured’i’ou’by now,” she murmurs, and the phone falls away from her lips for a moment before she picks it back up and snarls, “Though’YOU’d’ve!” and then the call is disconnected before the receiver can capture the rough hack of a sob choked by pneumonia.

Unsaid: I’m going to fucking die out here, and it’s no one’s fault but mine; I just didn’t want to go it alone — and I’d thought, at one point, that I wouldn’t have to.

I hate myself more for needing you than I could ever hate you.

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