The last story from my Fictionpress to get added to here. This is based on the song Halfway Home by Nerina Pallot.
The coins clunk into the mechanism. She doesn’t wait for the sound to stop before her fingers are pressing buttons: eleven digits she had memorised without even trying.
She can’t help the smile that touches her lips.
“Hey.” A warm feeling bubbles up within her, taking her breath away; she had forgotten just how wonderful that voice was…
“Hey! Why are you calling me? I thought you were supposed to be back in a few minutes.”
“Well, actually, I already am. Back, that is. Sort of.”
She looks out of the window and down the darkened road; the street is illuminated with street lights and house lights, but there’s only one light that her eyes are drawn to.
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m in the phone booth on the corner of the street.”
“And you’re phoning me?”
“Yeah,” she laughs.
There’s a snort from the other end. “You’re helpless, you know that, right?”
“Oh, I don’t think so. I think there’s something you can do to help me.”
“Oh? And what is that?”
She doesn’t reply right away; she allows the smirk to form on her lips, her gaze still caught by the light flowing from the window a few houses down the road. “Come and meet me.”
There’s a pause.
“At the phone booth?”
“At the end of the road?”
“I’m in my pyjamas!”
“I don’t care!”
A laugh flows down the line, that chuckle that she hasn’t heard for so long. She can’t help but join in, her breath misting the glass a few inches from her face.
The moment doesn’t last forever, though, and the laughter soon dissolves into a hush. She sags against the back wall of the phone box, her fingers readjusting around the suitcase handle held within her grip.
“Please? I’ve been travelling for so long. I’m so tired.”
There’s a sigh, muffled and hushed by the poor connection. “Fine.” A smile tugs at her lips, flowing up to her eyes. “But don’t expect me to carry you.”
She pushes herself off of the glass wall, the heels of her boots scraping against the floor as she adjusts her feet. “Oh, I’m sure that won’t be necessary.”
“Of course not…”
The line cuts off, and she places the phone back on its perch. As she steps out onto the pavement, the cold air outside the little booth hits her body, making her wince. She wheels out her suitcase after her, her eyes still fixed on the house just a little way down the road.
She doesn’t move any closer as she waits, her weight resting on one foot and her hip protruding expectantly. She waits until she sees the front door open – a new light to join the others, if only briefly – and a silhouetted figure tugging a coat tightly around themselves.
The figure begins to move forward, and her weariness lifts, the mere sight of her being enough to make what had seemed so impossible when she had first walked into that phone booth the easiest thing in the world…
Before she knows it, she is running, the wheels of her suitcase scraping loudly on the ground; she doesn’t care if it disturbs the neighbours, for all that matters to her now is her, getting closer and closer and closer…
She can almost make out features now: her long, flowing brown hair and her bright green eyes; her gorgeous smile and her fluffy blue, penguin-adorned pyjamas.
They meet half way, arms flinging round each other and lips meeting.
It had been so long…
They part only to come up for air, gasping as they press their foreheads against one another.
“You’re freezing,” she tells her, and she shivers, as though the purpose for her existence lies only in making sure that she is never wrong.
“Well, I have been travelling for so long.”
She lets out a breathy chuckle, reaching around to take her suitcase from her. “Then I think we’d better get you inside.”
They walk up to the house together, and her legs are aching and her head is pounding, but the excitement within her growing with each step. When the door finally opens, and everything inside is exactly how she remembers it to be, her knees begin to feel weak and she nearly collapses straight to the floor…
She turns to her, her brow furrowing, and she sees an arm being offered to her. She takes it with a grateful smile, slipping her hand into the crook of her elbow.
“We’d better get you a cup of tea.”