Face Time

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Zoey then paces herself to one end of the fountain at the park. Underneath her breath she counts to five than takes a few paces in the opposite direction. She stops in front of the park bench. She takes her phone out of her purse. She rolls the phone in her hand. She glances down at the black screen. Her fingers trace down the smooth glass of the front of the phone. She pauses at the button at the bottom. Should I text them? No, in the end I would be a bother. They could just be running late. They have lives. Just wait for them like always. The thoughts continue to pierce her mind.

“Ma’am, are you ok?” stated a man who placed his hand on her shoulder. Zoey’s head whips around and steps back. He glances up from his book to look at her face and then back to reading. She breathes in again and sighs.

“Sorry, I am just a bit on edge. Just waiting for someone” she said. She then glanced down at her phone. Then back at the man. He wore baggy jeans, a graphic t-shirt with the words carpe diem. In his palm, he had a book bound in black leather. It was worn on the edges and depicted an image of wings. His face was as worn as the book he held. Rings wrapped from under his dark brown eyes. His hands were rough yet turn each page with precision. He then sat on the bench and patted the space to his left.

“Come on, sit with me. I have time. Most I have planned is to finish my reading.” he stated.

Why does he care? Still, it’s better than waiting alone I guess.

Zoey places her phone back in her purse, then sits on the bench and takes another look at his t-shirt. She chuckles and then stops herself.

“What’s so funny?” he said.

“Nothing. Sorry. What is your name?” she said. Her eyes go back to her phone. She clicks the button to see no notifications. She then clicks it back to the black screen.

“My name is Rob. So, you were waiting for someone? Date by chance?” he stated as he unzipped the courier bag that laid beside up. He took out some help wanted flyers.

“No, just some friends.” she stated as she moved her attention to the flyers. On them depicted a black winged angel holding a scythe. The angel’s body was frail but looked to be reaching the upper corner of the flyer. On the bottom was a phone number and e-mail address. It stated-

“Seems weird you so anxious for people you know. Sure you want to see them?” he stated. It’s none of your business. I waited years to see them. After all the trips I had to take for my job I can finally have time for them. My only chance to do something fun in life. Zoey focus snapped back onto Rob who was fumbling with his wallet. He unzipped the pocked of the wallet and took out a silver coin. He held out the coin for Zoey to take. Zoey raised eyebrow and hesitated.

“Why are you giving me change?” she stated

“Custom for me. It is best to pay for someone’s time. It is the most I can expense for our conversation since I asked to talk to you. Like you people say. Penny for your thoughts.” he stated.

Zoey took the coin from his hand. It was just a regular quarter. I would rather be talking to my friends than this guy. Why does he care so much? Where are they? I hope they come this time. After that day, they just stopped coming. She then places the quarter in her pocket.

“Sometimes we don’t understand what we lost till we have truly paid for the cost of entry.” he stated.

“Ok. Sorry to be frank, but why all the clichés?” she stated.

The sound of a vibration came from courier bag.

“Give me a second. May be my next drop” he stated. He then rummaged back through his bag to retrieve his phone. He looked at the message and placed both the flyers and the phone back in the  bag.

“I guess time is up” she stated with a smile.

He chuckled and rose from the bench. He glanced at her one more time. He placed his guitar case on his back and started walking.

“Good luck with your meeting. Hopefully it is worth your time.” he said and he continues to walk away.

I already having something worth my time.

She then sighs and pulls the phone from her purse to find that she had two missed notifications. The first one is from Rebecca which said “Sorry I can’t make it again. Had a rough night last night, and have a lot of work I need to catch up on. We could try again in a few weeks.” Again, she says this all the time. I planned in advance to have this weekend off. Forget it, hopefully Jack and Samantha have better luck and are just late. Couples always take more time. “Sorry girl, caught up with family for the weekend. They made a surprise visit to our apartment. We will update you the next time either of us are free.”

Zoey then places the phone beside her and places her hands on her face. It’s fine. Just keep working in the office as usual. Time will fly by and something interesting will happen then. I didn’t do anything wrong and they will come back. She rose from the bench and started at the fountain. She took deep breaths. She then took the coin from out of her pocket. She rolled it in the palm of her right hand. Guess it can’t hurt to try. She then tossed the coin into the fountain to hear the splash against the rushing water that rippled. I wish I knew why they were so distant as of late.

She started at the location where the coin fell. The shimmering lights that reflected from the water from the coins that have been tossed. She then noticed an odd chain that laid on top of the various other coins. Her eyes traced the path the chain lead. It eventually stopped at an old silver pocket watch. She then looked around the park. Around the fountain were various geese and ducks eating around the remains of someone’s discarded sandwich. She didn’t hear any sounds of any children playing. It wouldn’t hurt to see what it is.

Zoey perched on the ledge of the fountain. She stretched her arms out in hopes to reach for the pocket watch in the water. Her hands dipped into the cold chill of the fountain. Her hands washed over the various coins. She started to lose her footing as she reached deeper into the water. Only a bit farther. Her fingers felt the touch of smooth and round object. She grasped the watch and pulled it out the water.  She took a few steps back from the fountain, and placed the watch in her pocket. She then rushed to get her phone from the bench and made her way to the opposite end of the park.

She stopped and sat by a tree. She took the watch from her pocket and looked the etchings on the watch. It is a square boarder that wrapped into itself with vines stretched from the edges of the watch. In the center lay a shape that she was unable to make out. With her index finger, she proceeded to click the button that opened the watch. She noticed the cracks that permeated the glass. She sighed. What was I expecting? Someone donating a fancy watch for anyone to grab. Wait what- She then saw the engraving on the opposite face of the watch. It stated “memento vivere”. The words were wildly scratched into the back face of the watch.

She started to wind up the pocket watch. She could hear gears moving inside of the watch. She waited a few more seconds to find that the hands were starting to move backwards. She gripped the watch in her hand and forced it to close.  She rose she sat and placed the pocket watch in her purse. She pulled out the phone to see no other notifications have appeared. On the screen, it only states 3:30 P.M. 02/17/2010. She sighed then closed her eyes. She then started walking taking breaths. She then opened her eyes.

Zoey paced herself in front of the gates of the apartment complex that Jack and Samantha lived at. She opened her eyes and paused. Why am I here? I was just at the park. She looked around in hopes to understand her situation. Maybe this is all just a dream I feel asleep and now imagining what I wanted. A man was walking out of the gate of the apartment complex. She asked him to wait.

“What do you want? I am in a rush.” he stated.

“Is this really the Brickstone apartments?” she stated.

“Are you joking with me?” he then proceeded to make his way out the gate. Zoey rushed in front of him to catch the gate.

“Just humor me for a moment. I am a bit lost” Zoey said.

“You look it. Yes, it is. Anything else? He said.

“What is today?” she said.

He rolls his eyes. “It’s November 5th. Now move out of my way, I have a meeting to get to” he said as he pushed pashed her.

Zoey makes her way into the complex. She then stops to pull out her phone from her purse. She pushes the button and the screen the lights up to state 12:45 P.M. 11/5/2009. You’re joking right. It can’t be. She placed her phone back in her purse and rummaged through looking for the watch. Her hands shook as she pulled the watch from her purse. She opened the watch to see that the clock was still ticking backwards. She then shoved it back in and got out her phone. She looked at the time and date again to see that it is about what she saw before. She then walked over to a bench and sat.

She took a few deep breaths and placed her hands on her knees. Let’s just assume this is happening. What was I doing today? The schedule! She then took out her phone, she searched for her schedule to today she was planned to be in a flight. Think. Why did I need a flight today. What was important. OH! Today I was supposed to be in Europe for the for the new housing project. This contract made me start my way up the company. Well I guess I can take this chance to do what past me couldn’t. She made her way to Jack’s apartment.

As she made her way up the stairs she found that there were loud banging noises coming from the apartment at the top of the stairs. She rushed to the top hoping that it was nothing more than another one of Jack’s projects. Once she made her way to the top she found that the door was left ajar. In the crack of the door she noticed that the room was still well lit but didn’t hear any voices inside. She proceeded to knock on the door. The banging noise then stopped.

“Why are you knocking. It’s not like she is coming back anytime soon.” Jack stated from inside the apartment. Zoey made her way inside to see that Jack was in the living room with a wrench in his hands.

“What are you talking about?” Zoey stated as she entered the living room.

Jack face went pale as he saw her enter the room. Zoey paused and saw that Jack arms fell to his side. She looked to his left to find a big pole going from the floor to the ceiling. I don’t remember this. I never saw him install or even have a pole in their apartment.

“Jack why is there a pol- “she said.

“Get out.” He said.

“I just wanted to visit “she said.

“I can see that. Just get out. I will make this up later and- “he said.

“You guys always say later. What is so important that I can never see you guys anymore?!” she said.

“Honey, can we just start the fun? I came back from the store and bought a new outfit” came the voice on the other side of the front door.

“Rebecca?” Zoey said.

“Zoey?” she said as she entered the apartment.

Jack fell to the couch and covered his faced. He let out a deep sigh. Jessica entered the room and keep looking between both Zoey and Jack. In the moment of them looking at each other, Zoey looked at Jessica outfit. It was a short plaid skirt complimented by a button up crop top. No, this can’t be why. This had to be a bad dream.

“Does Samantha know about this?” Zoey said.

“Girl, what do you think? No, I just felt like having every man in the complex look at me.” Jessica said.

“Don’t you know how this could hurt her?” Zoey said.

Jack rose from the couched and made his way to Zoey. With each of his steps Zoey’s tried looking around the room for anwsers. Just apologize and everything will be fine. No, this isn’t right, but I don’t want to lose them I-

“Zoey, could you please just leave?” he said as he placed his hand on her shoulder.

“I don’t have time for Zoey’s needy attitude. Zoey just go. We will all just imagine this didn’t happen and you can go back to work like you always do” she said.

“But I made time toda-“Zoey said.

“How much do you pay attention of our lives? Waiting on us doesn’t mean we will wait on you?” she said.

Her eyes started welling up with tears. Jack looked at her face and escorted her out the door. She stood in the hallway of the staircase as the door close. She sat next to the wall and started to cry.

“You didn’t need to be so harsh. She just thought we were going to see each other today.” Jack stated from the other side of the door.

“If you want I could leave? We don’t get many chances for this” Rebecca said.

Then silence broke into the corridor of the hallway. She could no longer hear their voice. She folded herself together and held herself against the wall. She kept taking deep breaths. With each breath, she held back the water that rushed from the back of her eyes. Her thoughts rushed against her conscious mind. Each one asking the why. She then pulled out the watch again from her purse. It’s your fault. I wouldn’t have known this if I wasn’t here. I waited forever to see them and now they don’t want me. She then rose from the wall and ran down the stairs.

In her dash out the complex, she closed her eyes to hear someone practicing the guitar in the courtyard. She stopped and heard someone practicing the guitar. She paused and looked at him with her eyes fogged by her tears. As she squinted she called out his name.

“Rob, is that you?” she stated. She made her way to the bench the man sat on.

“You all are always so timely.” He stated.

She rubbed her eyes. Her vision became clear and she saw that it was the same person she met that day.

“You did this, didn’t you?!” she said.

“No, you did. I only gave you payment.” He said. He kept his attention to the book in front of him. He continued turn the pages as Zoey continued to talk.

“I want to go back.” She stated.

“Why?” he stated.

“I don’t want to be here. I want to be happy” She stated.

His face rose from the guitar. Zoey then looked into his eyes. They were pitch black. Her right leg started shaking again. What are you?

“That isn’t important. Do you want to go back?” he said.

“How? I- “ she said.

“I said, do you want to go back?” he said.

“Yes.” She said.

Zoey then paced herself around the fountain at the park. Underneath her breath she counts to five than takes a few paces in the opposite direction. She stops in front of the park bench. She takes her phone out of her purse. She sees there are no notifications on her phone. She then pauses to look inside of her purse. She finds a silver watch out of all her belongings. In that moment she throws the watch into the fountain and runs out of the park.