One who shall die - greets you!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Cell Phone

Ana sat on the metal bench at the bus stop. She noticed a middle-aged man coming towards her. He was talking on his cell phone.

- Yes, mom. Of course, mom. We’ll be there this weekend as planned. We’ll bring the kids with us for sure - he was saying as he reached the bus stop, looked at Ana and smiled.

She remained impartial to his kindness and thought to herself,

“Oh God, how I hate it when people show off on their cell phones! I’m never getting a cell phone! Never!”

She was unique.

- No, I’m not at work. I got off earlier because it’s Klara and my wedding anniversary. I’m taking her out for a fabulous dinner tonight! - he said as he paced back and forth in front of the other people who were waiting for the bus. - Don’t worry, mom, we got a babysitter. I have another call now. Yes, of course I will pass your regards to Klara. See you soon…okay…bye, kiss.

“What kind of man has a wife and kids and sends kisses to his mom?” she wondered with disgust.

- Hey, love! - He sounded like he was truly happy to hear from her. - Guess what your tiger did at work today…

“Tiger!?” Ana almost let out a giggle. “Buddy, you’re no tiger! You’re a lame yuppie.”

- Yes, yes, YES! That’s going to be a huge bonus at the end of the year.

It seemed to Ana that the man briefly glanced at the reactions of the people at the bus stop. She felt sick to her stomach and thought,

“He’s so awful! All he thinks about is money!”

- I got off work early, my love. And you know why - he stressed. - You know I wouldn’t forget, darling.

“Oh my God, he’s so sleazy!”

- I’ve arranged everything. Rahaela is coming at seven. Ha, ha, ha - he laughed loudly and turned towards Ana. - Of course I kept that in mind - he said as he winked at her with a wide grin.

Ana rolled her eyes thinking,

“He’d probably fuck anything that moves.” She hated him with her entire being.

The new bus with tinted windows and huge number seven pulled up to the bus stop.

- My bus is here! I have to go. I’ll see you at home! - he said cheerfully, placing his cell phone in the inside pocket of his suit jacket.

The phone slid through the silk lining, skimmed his pant leg and fell onto the sidewalk. The case flew to one side while the phone slid all the way to Ana’s Converse shoes. It was an old cell phone model, the screen was scratched, and there was no battery.

The man quickly stepped forward to pick up the phone. Ana noticed his bitten nails, his worn-out shirtsleeve, and his shabby suit.

Their eyes met.

His eyes were big, his face completely flat and white. His self-confidence had vanished and all that remained was a bare human soul. Ana’s heart melted and sunk to her stomach. The eyes with which she looked at him were filled with pity to the point of tears.

The man took a step back towards the road and much like a high jumper jumped in front of the moving bus.

The murmurs on the bus fell silent and the laughter disappeared. The elders on the bus flew forward while the stronger passengers grabbed on to the handlebars. Tendons stretched out, muscles cramped up, but nonetheless all of the seated heads move forward. In a moment of complete and utter silence all that could be heard was the squeaking of the enormous tires on the pavement. The blunt sound of the impact was louder than the groans of the bus right before some of the passengers fell over while the heads of the seated passengers moved back to their original positions.

Ana ran towards the Yuppie who lay motionless a few meters in front of the bus. His neatly cut slicked back hair was soaked in thick blood. His face was smashed up.

Ana yelled:

- Cell phone! Does anyone have a goddamn cell phone?!

Translated by Petra Pintarić
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