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There’s a message on her answering machine.

She never could get over how forgetful he was. Almost every day, he’d wind up calling her as soon as he got to the office. Hey honey, I forgot to make reservations for tonight, how about takeaway and a movie instead? Hey babe, I left a letter on the kitchen table, could you mail it for me?

This message was different.

There’s a message on her answering machine.

She listened to it hundreds, if not thousands of times that first week. She got a new answering machine so it would never get overwritten. For a few years, she would listen to it every Christmas, every anniversary, every birthday. Every time she felt lonely. Sometimes she couldn’t bring herself to listen to it, but just knowing it was there was like a soothing balm.

There’s a message on her answering machine. It’s ten years old now, but she won’t delete it.

It’s the last time he told her that he loved her.

© Kari Fay

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