Call Josh after years of not speaking

Kelly clung to the bat, staring at the woman on the street.  Just seconds later she got back into her car and sped off around the corner.  Kelly's mind was working over time.  The name Fiona crept up from her throat and snuck over her lips without Kelly even realizing she had said anything.

Kelly snapped back to the present.  She threw the bat aside and went for her bedroom at a running pace.  Practically throwing herself into her closet, she began to haul boxes out, scattering them across her room until she found what she was looking for.  Digging through a particularly dusty box, she rummaged through old papers and books at a frantic pace.  Finally she ripped an address book from it's contents.  She flipped through the pages until she found it: Josh's phone number.  It was a long shot; it had been so long since they'd been together - since they'd even spoken.  He probably doesn't even live there anymore...

Kelly pushed herself onto her bed and grabbed the phone from it's cradle, dialling as fast as she could.  It started ringing.  On the third ring, Kelly began to get anxious, bouncing her knee up and down.

After the fifth ring:  "Hello?"  A woman.

"Hello! Hi, um, I'm looking for Josh?"

"Josh?"  Kelly waited for the woman's response with a rapidly beating heart. "Honey, he hasn't live here for years."

"Do you--Are you his mother? I mean, is there a number I can reach him?"  She was stumbling over her words.

"A number?  Sure; do you have a pen and paper, sweetie?"

Kelly rummaged in her desk drawer for paper, balancing the phone between her ear and shoulder.  She managed to write down the number legibly.  Quickly offering her thanks to the woman, she hung up the phone and immediately started dialling again.  This time it was answered after two rings.


"Hi, Josh?"

"Yeah, who's this?"

"It's Kelly.  Kelly Strickland?"

"Kelly Strickland?  Really?"  She could tell that he had stopped whatever is was he was doing and was now listening intently.  "God, how've you been?  Jesus, it's been what?  Seven, eight years?"

"Look, you remember Fiona, right?"  Kelly got right to the point.

Josh was silent on the other end for a few breathless moments.  He was much quieter when he spoke.  "Christ, Kelly, is that why you're calling?  Maybe you should be talking to someone else--"

"No, no." Kelly tried to calm herself down. "No.  It's just that we never really talked about what happened.  I mean, everything was so crazy after, I..."  She could feel hot tears springing to her eyes.  God, she thought to herself, I thought I was past this.

"What's to talk about?  It was a rough situation.  Things went down they way they did.  We can't change it."

"I know, I know.  I just want to make sure things really did happen the way they did, you know?"  She knew she was starting to sound crazy but it was either this or else she walked around thinking she saw her dead best friend in the street.

Josh was reluctant but he finally started walking her through the earth-shattering events that happened so long ago but burned in her memory like it was just last week.

Back in college, Josh hadn't only been her boyfriend, but her dealer as well.  She was heavy into drugs, and becoming more so with each day.  It was Josh that had introduced her to it.  First, just simple weed, but it escalated exponentially until she was on E and finally chose meth as her weapon of choice.  Fiona had stood by her the whole time, pleading with her to give it up, trying to convince her that she was killing herself and that Josh was the trash she was killing herself over.

Finally, Fiona had had enough.  It all came down to one afternoon, in Josh's garage.  His parents were still at work.  Kelly and Josh were huddled in a corner, getting ready to smoke up.  Fiona walked in, carrying her father's gun and pointed it directly at Josh's head.  She told Kelly that all she had to do was walk away with her, to leave the drugs and Josh; then everything would be just fine.  Fiona had tears in her eyes and her arms were shaking.  Josh yelled at Kelly to grab his father's shotgun that was mounted on the wall behind her.  Kelly barely knew what she was doing as Josh told her how to cock it while Fiona screamed at her from just feet away.

Kelly was crying now, too.  Fiona screamed she was going to shoot Josh while Josh was yelling at Kelly: "Just do it!  Do it!! She's going to shoot me!"  The noise was unbearable.  Kelly was so confused; she didn't know how she got into this mess.  Kelly let out a heart-wrenching sob before pulling the trigger.

The rest was silence.  The ambulance sirens were silence.  The police, asking thousands of questions, was silence.  The funeral, the criminal court hearings,  the therapy sessions, they were all silence.

Kelly was seen to have acted in self defense but was sentenced to two years of community service for improper handling of a firearm.  She saw Josh only a handful of times after that.  She hadn't come near any sort of illegal substance since.

"Yes, that's what happened."  Kelly spoke more to herself than Josh.  "She died."

"Yeah, Kel, she died."  He said it softly, wary of saying anything else for fear that she was seriously unstable.

Kelly seemed to be in a trance.  "Thanks, Josh.  Talk to you later."

"Kel, are you alright?"  But she was already gone.

The End

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