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I never intended to stay the night. Really, I didn’t plan to stay long. I only needed forty minutes, maybe an hour. I plugged the charger into the wall and the phone into the charger. I figured I would wait around for a while because maybe it would turn on. If it would, I could run down the stairs and out the door and never come back.

My girlfriend has probably been calling me. She’s probably angry. She won’t believe me when I tell her why my phone’s been dead all this time. And I have an appointment with my dentist that I can’t miss. If I could just leave, I could call my girlfriend and feed the cat and maybe get a bagel at the deli near the train station. If I hadn’t stayed so long.

She won’t believe me when I tell her what happened after she walked me to the bus stop and kissed me goodbye on the first of the two buses you have to take to get from her house to mine. She won’t believe that I dropped my phone as I was getting off the first bus and the screen went all dark and quiet and by that time it was so late the buses had stopped running, because they stop early on Sundays, which I forgot, and the front door here was wide open.

I only needed an hour, maybe two. Just enough time to charge my cellphone. It’s not that I don’t like it here. I’ve always preferred low ceilings, and I don’t mind small spaces. But it’s very dark, and there’s so much dust. I’d like to get going now. The dark hurts my eyes. I need to feed the cat, and I think I left the oven on. If the screen would just light up.

I’m so thirsty, and there’s an ache in my neck. I never planned to stay this long. I tried everything. I pressed all the buttons. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I have an appointment with my girlfriend, and I think I left my cat in the oven. I wouldn’t still be here if the damn wheel would stop spinning and the screen would light up. If the screen would just light up, I could go get a glass of water, a nice cold glass of water with ice in it. Why doesn’t it light up.

Why doesn’t it blink and light up. Her alarm rang an hour ago, but she’s still in bed.

Her little pink rain boots are still smiling at me from their place beside the door. There are footsteps, and the sound of hinges creaking. Now a man is asking her how she is feeling, sweetheart, and now he is telling her not to throw her tissues on the ground. The man is on his knees, gathering pieces of white material.

The man is on his hands and knees, reaching beneath the bed, touching dust, denim, parched skin, dust.

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