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Janey

Sometimes I call your number just to hear your voice. The answer phone always takes a second too long to kick in and I think, this is it - this time it's not gonna work. This time it's been wiped. Then when you do finally speak I always lose the first rush of what you say as it gets swamped by my sigh of relief. So I dial again, and this time I can relax more.

The apartment looks odd since you left. I can't put my finger on it but it's like something froze here. At night, I stand in the window and look out on the street and it's all lights and noise and the usual city stuff going down, but I might as well be looking at it on celluloid. It doesn't touch me.

Then last night, Frank called. Said he'd seen you down Main Street. You were with some guy who looked really ripped and your hair was colored blonde and your skirt slashed to the thigh, like some rock chick off MTV. He almost didn't recognise you.

"That don't sound like Janey," I said.

"Buddy, I'm tellin you, it was her!"

He was so sure, I could have punched him. But it was just the fact he'd been drinking. And I wasn't judging. Hell, I had a half bottle of Jack Daniels down too! But I knew damn well it wasn't you.

After I hung up on him I went down the basement and checked the box. Your stuff was all still there. I heard the freezer in the corner: the usual reassuring hum. I opened the lid a fraction. Yep, the same dark brown hair as always. I don't need to call again till tomorrow now. Tonight I know you're safe.

Story by:

Anne Lawrence

twitter.com/shrewdbanana

6 June 2014