Hi, you’ve reached Kavya. Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
Hey, it’s me. Wait—don’t hang up. Hear me out. I know I promised not to call, and trust me I do want to stay out of your life. I really do. It’s just that… well… I locked myself out of my apartment.
It’s fine. Go ahead. Have your I-told-you-so moment. The first time my door locked itself shut behind us you asked if the two seconds it saved was really worth the risk. I’m using those rollover seconds now as I sit in the elevator, no phone, wallet or key on me, talking to a row of buttons.
I didn’t want to call you. I knocked on my neighbors’ doors, but it’s late and they’re asleep. I waited in the hallway hoping to run into someone with a couch to spare. I then looked for a warm place and ended up in the elevator. Do you remember that button in the elevator you’ve always wanted to push? Well, I pushed it and it turns out a voice emerges from amidst the row of buttons and asks, “Are you stuck?”
Jeremy—he’s doing the night shift for the elevator company—was happy to help. Too happy, even. You know the type of person who says, “Have a nice day!” with such enthusiasm that you wonder how one could possibly be that happy? “Sure thing sir, good luck!” he said when I asked if he would re-route the call to your cellphone.
I didn’t want to call you. But the problem with having a cellphone is that I can never remember anyone’s number. Well, obviously, I remember yours, but trust me I’m trying to move on. Tonight’s plan was to fix the broken leg of the dining room table as a way to distract myself. Remember how the lopsided table used to drive you crazy? I stepped out to pick up a block of wood I had left by the door, and well… you now know the rest.
I think back to that night sometimes. A few minutes before the last time you heard my door click, you asked me to shut up. All you wanted, you said, was to be able to sit across from me, say nothing, and feel wonderful, not awkward, in that shared silence. I was always trying to fill it up, fill up the silence with words. Meaningless, unnecessary words. “Why are you so afraid to hear yourself think?” you asked.
There’s a spare key to my apartment in the coin jar on your kitchen counter.
I’ll shut up now.