Yareah magazine. Today, enjoy this short story by the author Valery Petrovskiy: On The Go… a title that suits very well with the title of Yareah magazine next issue (February 2013): Go on!
On the Go by Valery Petrovskiy
I turned up a killer, starting to do away with some friends according to my telephone directory: I just stroke them out one by one. First I had to cross out persons who had passed away earlier; I was stroking them out and then put down “dead” nearby. For some reason, those deceased long ago I sympathized less. It happened by misfortune, and I felt less sorry for them at the moment though on a burial day I felt sharp.
Then I was recollecting the last meeting: what we talked about, how he looked then, what he asked me. I had dim memories that I’d given my word to find out what ever he asked me and call him back. Then I tried to keep my word and honestly looked for what he’d asked but I failed. What a funny thing, any serious matter could be settled but not his issue. Something had gone wrong from the very beginning and it came abruptly to an end, and afterwards I knew he’d died. With me, a scrap of paper with his telephone number inscribed on the go was left.
Concerns were not going well from the very beginning, as if I had a foreboding, Maybe, it wasn’t worth any efforts then, nothing to notify one about. Possibly, his wife took up the receiver and what would I say then? Supposedly, her man had asked me something but I failed to settle it, “No, I couldn’t handle that.”
So, I could have asked her to convey my “no”… And she’d be ill at ease to tell me he was already dead then. And there were some others to call up and ask for him. His telephone number was still in one’s list, and friends would call him not once. Surely, he had promised someone to clear up an issue as I did to him, and then he was missing.
When there are no calls, then one is dead. And I feel myself a murderer while crossing away one’s name. Meanwhile I have a wish to hear some other friends, “Hi, how are you?” Or I need advertise in the press, “Hello, call me up, my number is …”
Once or twice I made a sudden call to my old friends in other cities. First they were amazed, but I had nothing to add next time, and they didn’t call me back. At times I was answered that it was a wrong number there, and I have the same number still, I never changed it.
At a chance meeting with one, questions arise less and less; shorter is talking when in the street as if it were an international call. The mutual recollections are moving away, emotions are dying out, and small details are obliterated. Still, stronger is a drink at brief encounter, less is a pause between first and last drinks, and cut-glass ware is changed for plastic cups.
Yet, drinks do not burn my belly any more and the past doesn’t warm up my soul. Yet, some voice follow you in the street, “Well, I’ll ring you up…” Then nobody calls me.
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