“I’m sorry, Brian.” Dad expelled a long stream of air, pushing the words across the country, popping static through the cordless phone.
I doubled over on the edge of the bed, pressing elbows into knees.
“Mac said he’d been struggling.”
The room swelled with afternoon sunlight. One secondhand chest of drawers. One ladderback chair. One large bay window.
“He was alone.” More static and Dad’s grief then, “Your flight’s at eight-thirty. I’ll call Joel to get you.”
“Don’t. I’ll take a cab.” I pressed the heel of my hand into my eye.
There was a long pause and I expected him to apologize again. But he didn’t.
“Don’t forget your keys.” Then he hung up.
I felt the shift of weight behind me as Meli sat up in bed. When I looked up, the sun blinded me and I closed my eyes into the brightness of the window, pressing my palms down onto the sheets. Two minutes since he’d said it.
I could feel Meli touching me, both of us naked in the golden light. Her voice, the one that said, “Do you love me?” just before the phone rang, completely replaced by Dad’s long-distance tenor.
The words echoed in my ears, the conversation on repeat in my head. Three minutes since he’d said it. Then I said it.
“Tony killed himself last night.”
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