Testing, testing. One, two…
“Alice, can we-”
“Sorry, Kurt, I’ve gotta run to class.”
“It’ll only take a minute.”
“I’m already late.” Alice smiled and held her hand up to mimic a phone. “I’ll call you after.”
Kurt watched her go, vague unease still clinging to his gut as his girlfriend hurried across campus toward the arts building. He breathed deeply and, once she was out of sight, walked away.
Testing, testing. One, two, three, four… Hello?
“Heya, Kurt! Just the man I was looking for!”
“Hey, Steve. I was hoping we could-”
“I need someone to cover my shift this afternoon. I’ve got a woman to see about a class she’s skipping.” Jim winked and clapped Kurt on the shoulders. “Affection delivered. Request status?”
“Denied. I’ve got someplace I’ve gotta be.” Kurt shrugged Jim’s hands off and walked away. A few minutes later, he slumped against a wall. He breathed deeply to banish the icy dread in his stomach and, after watching a few cars pass on the road in front of him, walked toward his dorm.
Testing, testing. One, two, three, four. Hello? Can anyone hear me? Anyone?
Stewart and Nathan were out when he got home and Drew didn’t look up from the game he was playing. Kurt went into his room, sat down at his desk, and tried to lose himself in his work. Thirty minutes later, his work sat abandoned on his desk as he flipped through his phone, sending messages and texts to his local friends. Half an hour after that, when Alice was supposed to have been out of class for twenty minutes, Kurt set his phone on his desk and climbed into bed. For a minute, the screen displayed his last text before it went dark.
Hello? I just wanted to talk.