More than twenty years later I am lying in the dark holding the phone in my hand listening to your voice- wondering how you found my number and why you called.
My heart is pounding and my mouth is dry. I feel like my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth.
“I am in trouble and I need your help. They’re back.”
And then the other memories hit me like a torrent of water and I remember why I had to walk away from the woman I planned to marry.
Twenty-five years ago the boys and I graduated from college and decided to travel around the world.
We started in London and gradually made our way through Europe and hop scotched around a couple of continents flipping between Asia and Africa.
The plan was to follow our hearts and go wherever they took us, regardless of whether it made sense. Logic was for school and since we were out of school we ignored it. Took a freighter one direction and then hopped on a plane in the reverse two days later.
Time was meaningless and so was money.
That was because of my friend The Duke. His real name was Chadwick, but he preferred to be called Chad.
It is a tossup as to whether he hated being called The Duke more than he disliked being called Chadwick.
The Duke came from old money. He grew up on a monstrous estate and lived a life out of a movie. His graduation gift was control of a trust worth in excess of $100 million.
So money wasn’t a problem and neither was time. The only real problem we had was that we were young dumb and stupid,
Took a trip to city in Thailand called Phuket only because it looked to us like it was pronounced “Fuck It.”
Our time in “Fuck It” was punctuated with lots of moments that should have gotten us arrested. Somehow the members of the great fraternity of young, dumb and stupid managed to avoid those particular problems.
Things didn’t get crazy until we were in Paris. It had to be Paris. I didn’t like the city, didn’t want to be there and would have happily skipped it.
But Young, Dumb and Stupid was overruled by the power of the penis. Yep, young horny men met girls and got dumber, or maybe I should spell it dumberer because it was really bad.
I still have the letter that started it all. A handwritten note with flowing cursive letters and heart dotted ‘I’s sent by the girl who Chadwick swore would be his.
If the jerk hadn’t been thinking with his dick he might still be here to help me figure out what to do now.
This letter is a stain that I want to wash away, but I can’t. I had just begun to believe that maybe it was over but now I see I was wrong.
This was a prompt for Write On Edge. A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a handwritten letter. It is fiction.