A Third Person POV (with Letter and Monologue)

His was a restless and fitful sleep. Dogs, divided into opposing teams, passed a basketball up and down the court. The sidelines and bleachers were filled with canine coaches and players, referees and spectators. All of them barking, almost synchronized, but just off enough for the noise to become a continuous pulse of Awoofwawoofaowaoofoowawoof. No shot missed its mark, and the score climbed higher and higher as dewclaws scratched varnish from the court’s hardwood floor and frustrated spectators scratched behind their ears as if in flea-induced agony. Panting tongues, pink like Easter ham, lolled out of mouths. These teams were too evenly matched. Would their game be eternal? Someone would have to cede to the other, wouldn’t they? Eventually?

He sat up groggy, confused by his place. His scattered thoughts tossed like laundry in a dryer after the door has been opened, finally settling in no semblance of order. His phone was buzzing on the nightstand. Her side of the bed: empty. The pillow untouched since the morning and the sheets and blankets pulled mostly to his side.

His hand pawed the nightstand, grabbing lamp alarm clock water glass and, at last, phone. It buzzed and trembled in his hand, a live animal caught against its will, fearful of its fate. Through sleepy eyes he looked at the screen. Brisbane.

His lips smacked and his tongue stuck in his mouth. Answering, his voice was dry and quiet.

“Barty?” Her voice quavered as though she was unsure of the man who answered the phone, His guard was up almost instantly, if not from the time of the call and her absence in his, their, bed, then from the fact that she rarely called him Barty. Almost never. When was the last time that had happened? He supposed it had been the last time she had something important, but ominous, to tell him.

He would need to lead her into telling him the whole story, or at least the basics. If he ignored the fact that she was calling at two thirty, it would never be brought up again. But her voice, her Barty, begged him both to ask and not ask. Contrition given and taken.

“Did I wake you up?”

“No. Yes. It doesn’t- what’s the matter?”

“I’m sorry.”

“I said it doesn’t matter that you woke me-“

“I’m so sorry.”

“What’s going on then? Are you still at the club?”

“Sam went home. Tiphanie and me” She swallowed audibly. It could have been a hiccup. “We left the club,” Bart held the phone away from his head and rubbed at his eyes. He stood from the bed and put the phone back to his ear, “seemed that they knew each other, but I don’t know. It was a good idea at the time, Tiphanie thought so. I was along for the ride, since I wasn’t going anywhere else and you wouldn’t mind.”

He was already pulling on a shirt. Socks and shoes. “Where are you now?”

The silence poured itself a cup of coffee and sat down with the paper.

“Bris?” He wouldn’t admit that he already knew the answer to his question. He didn’t want to hear the answer.

He grabbed his car keys from the dish by the apartment door. “Just give me the address?” And he closed the door behind him.

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