Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Digital Detox( 04/24/14)
He Has My Number
By Christina Banks
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I’ve never had trouble sleeping. I’m usually out within minutes of my head hitting the pillow, but this last week has been different. Ever since Jan introduced me to that stupid game, all I can think about are numbers.
Two in the morning. I stare at the clock in disbelief. Wasn’t I just dreaming about twos? My bladder screams for relief. I grab my phone as I go to take care of business.
A wrong move starts a chain reaction I can’t stop. I need a two, but the game gives me a four. I’m not going to make it. Ugh. So close to beating my high score. I’ll just play one more game before returning to bed.
Hubby knocks on the bathroom door. “Are you alright?” he whispers.
“Yeah. Just a moment.” My bum is numb. How long have I been sitting here?
I hide my phone in the waistband of my pajama pants before exiting. Hubby doesn’t need to know what the holdup is. He wouldn’t understand. He kisses me as I pass him in the hall.
My side of the bed is cold. Exhaustion tugs at my body, but my brain will not stop. I close my eyes and force my breathing to regulate and my heart to calm.
The house is silent when I finally wake up and stretch. I feel more tired now than I did when I went to bed last night. I rub my eyes and grope for my phone. It isn’t on the bedside table. I know I put it back. Didn’t I?
Adrenaline pumps through my veins as I jump up and pull the bed apart. It isn’t here. I have to have my phone. I check the floor and on the night stand again, but there is no sign of it. It couldn’t have just disappeared.
A through search of the bedroom, the hall, and the bathroom leave me empty handed. I’d call Hubby at work, but I can’t. I need my phone to do that.
Frustration wells as I take a shower and get dressed. Where could the phone be? It’s never out of my sight. No answers come.
While I pour my cereal, I see the note taped to the back of the box.
Consider this an intervention. I love you!
He included a crude sketch of my phone in his pocket. He can’t do this to me. I need that phone. I need my numbers! I fume through breakfast. How dare he?
But my anger fades as I face the day. I wander around the house, unfocused. I feel like a jack-in-the-box, popping up every few moment, unable to stay still. I try to use my energy for good but I can’t stay on track. I keep thinking about my numbers. How am I going to reach 2048 if I don’t have a chance to play?
The house sparkles by the time our car pulls in the driveway.
“Where is it?” I demand as Hubby walks in the door.
He gives me that innocent look, and pretends not to understand.
“I need my phone.”
“You didn’t get a call all day.” He says. “Your sister texted you about the party next weekend. You can use my phone to call her back.” He fishes his dinosaur flip phone from his pocket.
I refuse to take it.
“You might as well use mine. I left yours at work.” There isn’t a bit of remorse in his statement.
“You forgot it?” I know my mouth is gaping open.
“No.” He hands me his phone again. “We’re trading.”
“You can’t do that.”
“I already did.” He places the phone on the counter and kisses my forehead before walking away.
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