When Alicea got home from work Monday night (trying to explain the giant bruise on her face to her coworkers had been interesting), she found the purse she had forgotten at the bar Saturday night lying on the floor in front of her door. It came with a note from Sven apologizing and asking her to call him. He had already left several voice and text messages and Alicea had ignored them all.
Alicea picked up the purse, checked to make sure the contents were the same as when she last saw it (they were), brought it inside and promptly threw away the note.
She was in the middle of putting some leftovers in the microwave for her dinner when her phone went off. Thinking it was Sven again, she went to silence it, but as she did, she happened to see the name on the screen: Fiona.
“Hey, what’s up?” Alicea answered, trying to sound nonchalant.
“Are you OK? You sound terrible.”
“Thanks, you sound great too.”
“I’m sorry, but you know I didn’t mean that as an insult. I’m worried about you.”
Alicea heaved a sigh she had been trying to hold in. “I’m fine. Just tired.”
“Is work still crazy?”
Alicea hesitated before answering in the affirmative. It wasn’t that she wasn’t still busy with work, it was just that it didn’t seem to matter anymore.
“I told you, I’m just tired.”
“No, that’s not it. Or at least, that’s not the whole story. What’s really bothering you?”
Alicea really didn’t want to get into this, but Fiona was one of her best friends. She couldn’t avoid her forever. So she heaved another sigh before saying, “You were right about Sven.”
To be continued…