Jane’s phone went off, the vibrating motor inside its plastic body sending it skittering across her nightstand like a startled insect. She groaned, rolled over in bed, and groped at it clumsily, trying to get it to shut up, willing it to shut up, praying it would shut up. Finally she grasped it and turned it over in her hands, its glowing screen casting shadows all across her bedroom. She noticed two things at the same moment, each making her angry on its own and angrier when she considered them in tandem.
It was three in the goddamn morning.
Goddamn Kevin was calling her.
Of course he was. There was an hour difference between their time zones, which meant he was just stumbling out of a bar, drunk and calling his exes, either to scream at them or to cry or to try and find a quick fuck. Maybe all three.
Jane was awake now, the intensity of her irritation burning off the grogginess she felt like it was nothing more than morning fog. She answered. “What the fuck do you want, Kevin?”
There was silence on the other end of the line, a gasp of surprise. He spoke, his voice as thick as syrup, his words slurred. “Oh, shit. Hey, sorry, Janie Baby. I didn’t mean to call you.”
“I want you to delete my number, Kevin. I’ve already asked you not to call me.”
“I wasn’t going to!” he said, his voice rising in a high-pitched whine. Jane winced. Talking to him left a bad taste in her mouth. Love gone sour then rotten. Why had she ever dated him, a skinny, pasty man dressed all in black with unkempt long hair and a fascination with the morbid and the strange. “I was going to text you.”
“Don’t do that either, please. Delete me from your phone.” She hung up, set her phone back down on the nightstand, and rolled over to sleep.
It beeped and buzzed once. A text. Then another. And a third. She grunted in exasperation and picked the damn thing up to silence it. Might as well see what the freak was saying.
Jane nglui fweh Kevin ia lo gath.
“Christ almighty,” Jane muttered. How drunk could he be? She’d seen text messages before that were garbled nonsense, but they could at least be deciphered if you imagined a keyboard in your head and you were feeling generous. This was like a made-up language.
Balgak fweh Jane fweh Kevin ia lo mak.
He was such a loser.
Ia lo gath.
He was pathetic, really.
Trin xant glar mak.
He had had his moments, but not many.
Jane qas glar mek.
He could be charming, though.
Queltha fie fhtagn ia lo gath.
Maybe she was being too hard on him.
Jane fie fhtagn.
She smiled. It was kind of cute, in a way, hearing from him like this.
Kevin fie fhtagn.
She shouldn’t have been so cold and distant. He was a good guy who deserved a second chance.
She’d call him in the morning.


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