by L. H.
Flash fiction contest entry (that contains "pizza", "shirt", "number")
| On the coffee table, her phone buzzes again. The blinking light from the screen turns the dark living room bright. A custom ringtone. A familiar number.
The table is an arm's length from the couch. Jane has to reach out. She has to move. Can she move? Her hand has been tucked under her head for hours now, it's probably as good as a beef eye-round. A jiggly eye-round wrapped in layers of fat and cellulite.
Jane gazes at the boxes of pizza, open and empty. The room still smells of pizza sauce and damp cardboard, a dual sensory reminder of yet another screw up. Classic Jane, pissing on my life!
The phone stops ringing. Good. If she had answer, her voice would've told on her; breaking and frail. She might've sobbed too, and added embarrassment to her portfolio of shame.
Jane's eyes are swollen and her vision is blurry, but she's sick of the view. She turns, all her body aching. Someone must've taken a mallet to her head when she wasn't looking, and she's sure she deserved it. Just look at her stained shirt. How long has it been since she last showered? How long since she last shaved? Her mustache can put Tom Selleck to shame. Meanwhile her cohorts are on a beach in Bali, sporting Brazilian waxes, and looking like bikini models.
Great job adulting, Jane!
The phone rings again.
Why is her mom calling again? Haven't mom heard of texting before? Jane can't 'people' now. They all suggest she "looks at the bright side", because obviously the best advice for the clinically depressed is "do not be depressed".
"Stop ringing!" Jane screams at the phone.
It stops, leaving a silent echo in its place. Jane inhales. Then the ringing begins again.