Your boyfriend falling asleep while you’re on the phone with him could be taken as an insult, I suppose, but when you’re fifteen and in love, just the idea that he is breathing on the other end of the line is intoxicating. It’s really not so bad, especially since it’s not his fault; he works at the cemetery all day in the hot sun to put away money for college. He’s tired all the time. It’s really not so bad when he only lives three blocks away, and you can slip on your shoes and walk down there with the secret knowledge that he is in his bed sleeping and the last voice he heard was yours, almost like you were married or something.
It’s even better when his mom answers the door and treats you like some kind of angel because you walked all the way down there to tell her so she could hang up the phone. She is so angry with her son that she tells you to go upstairs to his room to hang up the phone and wake him for his dinner that is warming in the oven. She thinks it will make him feel guilty. She never knows that you hang up the phone, but you don’t wake him right away.
Instead you lie down against his back and inhale the sweat in his curls, listen to the breath in his lungs go in and out in a slow, lusty rhythm and wonder what it would be like if you were older and alone, without the oven warming downstairs, the phone back on the hook, both waiting to ring and signal everything done.
Find out more about Donna Vorreyer here.