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Please read “About this project and the Author” for more information on my project. In this excerpt, Annie left a note for Daryl before she left…

“I went to the station Sunday and Monday nights at around eleven and did my midnight show as usual, but the stories I had picked to share with my listeners seemed more somber, darker even. They had good, inspirational endings as usual but I guess it’s all in the delivery which in radio is a direct reflexion of your mood and there’s basically no way to hide from it. By this morning, after my show, I was a complete mess and I have absolutely no clue how to shake it off, having sunk deep in that intense feeling of loss which I am no longer equipped to deal with. The part of me which used to rise and sooth this kind of pain has been asleep for what seems a lifetime now. It rose too often and too soon in my life, I put it to rest by shielding myself over the years to make sure I would never have to call on it again.

After we started seeing each other, Annie stopped coming to work early at the station so we wouldn’t raise suspicions and avoid office gossips. This also means I haven’t seen her at work these last two days nor did I call her, in part because I wanted to respect her need for space but mostly, because I was afraid of tempting fate. I feel terrible enough as it is without going ahead and making a phone call with the potential of making me feel worse.

Annie came to see me after dinner. When I opened the door and I saw her, I was so overwhelmed that I smiled and went forward to take her in my arms. I stopped short when she took a step back and abruptly ordered me to go back in so we could talk. I walked back inside of my loft and turned around. Annie walked in but I was disappointed when I realized she had stopped by the door and didn’t seem to want to get comfortable and stay a little while.

“You could come in and sit down, you know” I said looking down.

“I’m perfectly fine where I am for now.”

The brief silence that followed was still long enough for me to realize that this wasn’t going in the right direction. Annie confirmed it and went straight to the point.

“Do you have anything to tell me?” she said in a voice not nearly as soft as its usual self.

“I missed you very much”. My heart accelerated in anticipation of her answer.

She raised her eye brows and said “That’s nice. It’s nice to know.” The tone in her voice left no doubt that she meant it, yet it was still firm. “But that’s not what I need to hear from you right now”.

There would be no way out of this, she wanted to know. I kept thinking I should just let it out, all at once and see what happens. I took a deep breath, opened my mouth and moved my head forward as if I was going to say something. Nothing but dead air came out. I stood there with my mouth half opened, completely frozen, unable to speak. That must have made me look quite unappealing as Annie stared at me, waiting to hear something, anything. After a short while, when she realized I couldn’t bring myself to talk, she turned around slowly, opened the door, walked a few steps and closed the door slowly, still staring at me. In a matter of just a few minutes, I went from the joy of being in Annie’s presence again to the pain of standing alone, with no relief in sight.

The first time I cried over a woman, I was about seven and had fallen in love with a twenty-one year old university student named Andrée. The second time was when Danielle died. And this evening, as Annie turned her back on me and I heard her footsteps getting further away from me in the hallway, I didn’t fight the tears. Annie has earned them…”

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Contact: steve.marchand@rogers.com

This project is entirely written on an iPad

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