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Anne Aldrich was eighteen and smelled of stale coffee and old cigarettes, but her teal eyes were filled with so much wisdom and so much experience. Anne sat down at her desk and ripped open the drawer on the side as it was an antique from the depression era. She took out her red, leather covered address book and took out the new one from the Barnes and Noble bag. Anne shook back her red shoulder length hair.

She opened the new one and the old book, almost at the same time.

Anne started to transfer the names from the old book to the new. Carmye Alger, Catherine Alger, John Andersdotter…She then noticed Avis’s name. Avis Alford. Avis had died a year ago. Anne felt the need to transfer her name to the new book, they were best friends after all, but at the same time, she felt stupid doing so. Avis was dead. Gone. No more. She decided to not transfer the number, but dial the number once more.

Anne doubted greatly that the number even belonged to Avis’s cellphone anymore. Maybe the simple fact in knowing someone else owned her number would bring Anne some closure. “Hey girly!” chirped the very chipper voice of Avis. Anne gasped; that was not her voicemail message! She had actually picked up!

They talked and talked and talked, two hours, three hours, almost five hours on the phone. Aside from losing Avis, Anne’s fiancé had been killed in Iraq. But while Avis was heart felt for the loss of Anne’s fiancé, she was more concerned about why Anne hadn’t called in so long. “I mean, William hasn’t even called,” cried Avis, and Anne could hear her voice break. She was crying. “I thought he loved me.”

William was the driver of the car that night. He and Avis were driving home from a party. William was wasted and while Avis was not, he wouldn’t let her drive him. He survived and she died. William had fallen into a coma, and was unaware that Avis had died. “And you, why haven’t you called me? Aren’t we best friends?”

“Because…you…you…died.”

The reply was simply, “I died?” asked Avis. “I died?”


After her sweet little voice came the dial tone. Anne’s heart hammered in her ears as she quickly redialed the number. “Hello, you have reached Elizabeth Bass. Please leave your message after the beep.”

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