Hang Ups

He hadn’t called in three weeks, and she wasn’t sure whether to be worried or just hate him. The latter would be easier.

“Karen, could you get Lindsey on the phone, please?” There you go, perfectly calm, civil and polite. “Just tell him it’s urgent.”

Sometimes she suspected she’d been issued with a faulty off-switch. When they were on the road, he would quickly and happily go back to his hotel. Or a bar. It was like the exchanged glances hadn’t happened, like the subtle touches had meant nothing. She, on the other hand, would find herself lying in bed at three or four in the morning, wondering whether, if he’d kissed her last night, he would taste the same as he did in her memories. Maybe his nonchalance was just a natural product of his having ‘moved on’, a phrase she’d grown heartily sick of well over a decade ago.

Apparently she, he’d once told her in a fit of unforgivable cruelty, had stagnated. 


She never initiated anything and occasionally he thought it might be more out of a fear of rejection than an actual lack of caring.. After all, there was no denying that his ex was a generous woman; he’d, once upon a time, been the primary beneficiary. More often than not, however, he ascribed the thoughtlessness to simple self-absorption. It was a character flaw and one that became more and more evident as she aged. If nobody else cared for her,  she’d once said in a fit of pique, she needed to care for herself.

Or maybe it was just that he selfishly wished she’d think of him more than she apparently did. It wasn’t particularly flattering to the ego, knowing that she was better able to anticipate a dog’s needs and desires than his. 

He picked up his cell phone and checked his messages. Nothing. No surprises there, of course. He’d asked Will to check in with him during the week but his son had stopped being obedient and biddable years ago. Frustratingly. Sighing, he began to type.

“Karen, please get her to ring me. URGENT.”

HNicole BarkerHComment