He left without goodbye,
picked up his bags, left a note,
while she was still serving diners
at the Seven-Eleven,
two blocks down the road.
She arrived exhausted,
with flowers for his birthday,
couldn’t find the vase
which he had packed with him
when he’d cleared his life
out of their home of two years.
She tried his phone.
It rang and rang and went to voicemail,
playing his – ‘leave a message’
in his old voice –
the one she knew,
the one he’d forgotten.
He heard the silent phone rings
as he waited for the tube to the next city,
fingers hovering over the ‘Receive’ button,
She made dinner,
arranged for his favourite movie
and the big surprise waiting in the bedroom.
All the while she tried his phone,
not knowing that it was
ringing in the dustbin,
of a subway,
ten kms from her kitchen.