Sunday, 27 June 2021

'When You Say Nothing At All' by Lena MacDonald

“I spoke to Sarah this afternoon...”

“Oh right”

“Said I’d be going away for a while and could she keep an eye out to make sure you’re ok. ‘Cause you’re not really, are you? On your own I mean. You just don’t do well on your own.”


“I’m going to Mum’s for a few weeks... Are you listening?”


“So Sarah’ll pop by every few days to make sure you’re still upright and breathing. There’s food in the fridge - a week’s worth of meals that you just need to put in the microwave. The laundry’s done and I’ve put fresh sheets on the bed. It’ll just be you in bed tonight remember... Right, I’ll go and finish packing then.”


“Any chance of a hand with this suitcase, love? Love? Right, I’ll carry it down myself then. I’m really not sure why I bother talking to you at all. It’s not like you actually listen. You used to be so chatty. Now it’s just your phone and headphones. I swear you’ve forgotten I exist...”

“See, I’m talking to you now! Standing here like a bit of furniture, leaning against the doorframe,  staring right at you... You don’t see me let alone hear me... Mum warned me about this. ‘When you get to my age’ she said, ‘you won’t have anything to say to each other anymore ‘cause you’ll have said it all already’. Well we haven’t even got to her age have we? We’re still in our thirties and you’re just sitting there, surgically attached to your phone and dead to the world. Would it help if we only communicated by text? Love? LOVE?”


“I’ll be off then. You know where I am if you want to talk. Bye Steve.”

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