The Text

My phone buzzed. I looked at the clock: 11:24pm.

 

I reached over to fish it from the jeans left abandoned by the side of the bed.

It had a text. “Can you pick up some milk?” it read. From Sheila.

My heart pounded with impossible hope before being dashed in the moment it took me to read the timestamp: 1:15pm. 

My body stiff as a corpse, I stared at the screen, its glow the only light in the room, then
 lay it beside me, my hand closing about it until its case grunted. Texts sometimes arrive late, but this was a cruel joke. My life, my love, my wife: “Can you pick up some milk?”, her last words.

 

I despised them. I hated them. 

 

I will cherish them always.