My 'phone rings. I glance at it. "Seamstress", says the glowing text. I never bothered to change that name and I don't think I ever will. My weary hand gropes for the 'phone. "Hello?" I whisper into the mouthpiece.
Crackle crackle, buzz. It's her. She's in a place with very limited reception; plus, she's hiding under the bedclothes so as not to disturb her mother. They are on a trip together for work (for those of you who are curious, she works part-time in addition to being a postgrad student; this trip is a work-related thing). It's in the west, past Bridgwater. There's nothing good about Bridgwater. And there's nothing good about the reception she gets there. There's hardly any.
I tell her that I love her. I tell her about my day. I talk to her. Anything to keep her on the 'phone. If I weren't so loquacious, I'd repeat the same word over and over again, just so I can keep talking to her. I don't want this conversation to end prematurely. What I want is to read her a chapter of our story, tell her I love her and lull her to sleep with my voice. I'm talking and I hear a foggy buzz on the other end. Most of what she says in response is masked by the lack of reception.
Beep, beep, beep. I've lost her.
Today I'm at work, I'm thinking of last night's conversation. I'm thinking of her singing voice and I'm thinking of us together. I'm far away, very far away. I think to myself...
Upside, love you
Downside, miss you
I'm here, you are there
Hear my echo, dancing bear
Yes, it's only for a week. Yes, she's not gone forever. Yes, she will come back. And yes, it's only 'phone reception. But today is our two-year anniversary, and it was a lot less lonely last year.