There was something in the way he said goodbye that made her stop, phone halfway returned to its cradle held in a suddenly trembling hand. This time he hadn’t said ‘talk to you soon.’ He always said ‘talk to you soon.’
The dull drone of the dial tone triggered her hand to finish the movement it had started and the click of handset on cradle echoed in the sudden blankness of her thoughts. He had been hesitant when she asked him out for dinner and she had marked it off to stress or lack of sleep, but now it took on a more ominous tone.
Talk to you soon. Four words, laced with the poisonous knowledge that Jason knew with certainty that it would happen. Knew in that same sideways way that he knew where you’d put your keys, or what color kittens the cat would have. He was never wrong.
She spent the next hours in a paralyzing dread, curled up in bed, blankets piled high and dogs lying protectively at her side. Waiting for something, anything, and cursing herself for the cowardice that kept her from picking up the phone and asking for answers she didn’t want to know.
And when the phone rang at 10:42 and she heard the grief-wracked voice of Susan on the line, all she could think was ‘It wasn’t me, thank God it wasn’t me.’