The phone rings. She answers it.
“Hello, good evening, my name is Salicia Reyes. How can I help you?”
“I’m going to kill myself,” the voice on the other end of the line says.
She has heard that line many a time before; she pauses a bit, trying to decide the appropriate tone of voice to use.
“Why do you want to kill yourself?” she asks in a quiet voice; while busy filing away her nails.
“Because the girl I love screwed me over,” the voice rasped.
“Do you really think that is a valid reason why you should kill yourself?” Salicia asks. “I mean, there are other girls out there.”
“I know that there are other girls out there, but she is the one that I love and there is no one else like her in the entire world.” He sounded on the verge of tears.
Salicia pauses, she is trying to figure out what to say next. She does not want to send him further into anguish.
“Okay, calm down,” she says while putting the nail file down. She takes up her notepad to begin taking notes.
“What’s your name?” she asks while tapping the pen open.
“It’s Jim,” he responds.
She is uncertain if that is his real name but she can live with that. At least now she can have a name to address him by.
“So, Jim, how long have you and your ex-girlfriend dated for?” she asks.
He pauses. She wonders if he is still there. The silence lingers for a while and then he says softly, “Three years.”
“That’s a really long time,” she remarks.
He whimpers, “Yes.” He begins sobbing. Salicia is a bit uncertain about how to proceed in counselling him; he appears to be extremely delicate.
“I loved her,” he wails. “I still love her and she doesn’t give a shit about me! She avoids me like the plague.”
He breaks down again.
Salicia is wary. She decides to ask him another question.
“Why…why did you guys break up?”
His sobs grow louder. She feels as if she could kill herself. She had calls before where people would call and say that they wanted to kill themselves but never before had she met a case like this. This person was really an emotional wreck. She can’t remember ever having to deal with any situation like this. She was at a loss for words.
In choking sobs he replied, “She said that I used to lie a lot.”
“Did you?” Salicia asks.
“I guess I did….at times,” he says. “But everyone does it!”
Salicia sighs quietly. “Yes, everyone does lie from time to time, but it is the type and the magnitude of the lie that causes a relationship to suffer, especially if the person keeps doing it over and over again.”
“You seem to be siding with her!” he yells suddenly.
“No no!” Salicia responds quickly. “I’m not taking sides; I’m just stating a fact. Listen,” she went on, “would you like it if someone you knew and trusted consistently lied to you?”
Silence. Then he whispers, “No.”
She paused. “Is this the only reason why you want to kill yourself?”
“Yes. She has someone else in her life right now, she doesn’t even remember me. But I saw her, I saw them together and all the memories came back. She belongs to me!”
Then, with a sudden hint of authority he added, “You belong to me Talé.”
Salicia is stunned. “What – what did you just call me?” she stuttered.
“Yes Talé, has it been so long that you have forgotten the sound of my voice?” he sneers.
She cannot believe what she is hearing. For three years she was hiding from him; her psycho ex-boyfriend Britton. She changed her name, moved to a different city and started over with Magun; a wonderful guy she had met at an art convention.
“How – how did you find me?” she whispered.
“Like I said, I saw you with your new boyfriend, the one that you live with on the boulevard,” he laughs. “It was by accident that I saw you two. I was in town visiting an old relative of mine, when I saw you holding hands and laughing by the café. It was easy for me to get information about you afterwards. That’s how I know that you worked here, in this said building.”
A chill went down her spine. He was in the building! She started to look around her surroundings and realized, with horror, that she was alone in the room. Where had everyone gone?
“You there my love?” he chuckles. She hears a noise and spins around. She sees nothing.
Now she is really scared. She could not believe that after all this time; Britton was able to find her. Jim my ass, she thought. She chided herself for not recognizing his voice. She cuts him off the phone line and attempts to call the police. Her efforts were in vain. Britton had already cut the line. And her cell phone was in her bag a cubicle away.
Quietly, she ducked down and crept towards the cubicle. But Britton was right there waiting on her. He grabbed her by her hair and pulled her up.
“We were supposed to be together forever but you had to ruin it!” he told her while dragging her away. She began to scream. He told her that she could scream all she wanted, there was no one around. Apparently, he had killed everyone and now, she was going to die. He was skilled, being a master at martial arts and he also knew how to use various weapons. He did not hesitate; he took out his switchblade and slit her throat then killed himself.
The phone rings. She answers it.
“Hello, good evening, my name is Jane Furton. How can I help you?”
Sobs. “My name is Magun Thomas and I’m going to kill myself.”