Elise: Letting Go

I set the sleeping Pastella at my feet and take the phone in my hand. It must be one of the only pay phones left in town, I muse, but I don't have a cell. Thomas didn't want me to get one, and I have to trust him. He's all I have.

I don't really know what I'm doing as I slip the quarters into the slot and my fingers, on their own, begin to dial. I feel as though I'm half asleep, dazed, as I press the receiver to my ear and hear the ringing. Once, twice, three times...and then a click.

"Todd Winters speaking."

I freeze. "I--"

"Who is calling, please?"

"It--it's Elise."

Silence.

"Daddy?"

I hear a ragged breath, and I can almost see his face; the pain in his eyes. For a moment I am tempted to drop the phone and run, but I remind myself that he's just a voice, and I hold on, and keep waiting.

"What?" He asks, softly. He sounds as if his teeth are clenched, and I can't fight back the tears pooling in my eyes.

"I'm so sorry, Daddy," I whimper. "I'm so sorry. Please, don't hang up on me. I want to talk to you, I really do. I had the baby, and she's--"

Click.

"Daddy?"

Silence.

Sobbing quietly, I replace the receiver.

"And she's beautiful."

The End

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