Short Story: “Hey Milo”

If you haven’t read the first part of this story, head over to read Hello Rose before this half.

“…and that just means that all life in general, the planet as we know it, and the whole vast nothingness that are our lives, are merely careening toward a massive colossal explosion of earth and fire and ice.”

“You said all that at a tea party?”

“Yes. That’s probably why I wasn’t invited back.”

I laugh, resting my head against my hand. I lean further over the railing.

“I’m sure all those stuffy ladies in hats will appreciate it when one day the world does end in fire.”

“If I’m wrong and it ends in a sandstorm, I’ll be humiliated.”

“You’ll never be able to show your face in public again.”

“Or church for that matter…” I hear the mumbled reply.

I instinctively think of something from a book.

She wasn’t doing anything that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.

“Hey, Milo?”

“Yes, Rose?”

“Do you think I’m an ‘odd bird’?”

“Yes.”

I can hear her shifting beneath me and wonder how  rustling skirts can sound so reverent. Holy, even.

“Hey, Milo?”

“Yes, Rose?”

I wait for her question, but none comes.

“Never mind. How is your plants coming along?

“Dead now. I think I’ve over-watered it. What were you going to ask?”

“Do you think…maybe…”

“Yes?”

“We should meet in person?”

The silence hurts.

“I could just walk up the stairs and ring your doorbell. Or knock.” The words begin pouring out faster and faster. “I don’t even know if you have a doorbell. I suppose you wouldn’t since we live in the same building and I don’t either and that would be silly to have a doorbell when you can just use your fist a knock. Forget it. Never mind. I don’t even like people who don’t have doorbells. Forget I ever asked. It was stupid. Screw you and your doorbell-less door. I’m going to go in now.”

I hear her steps, light and quick.
I hear the the balcony door open.
I hear her trip on the threshold.
I hear her pause on the other side.
I hear the door slowly close.
I hear Edgar Allan Poe in my head.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

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