by Julianna Gonzalez

The familiar ding of a text tone, a sweet sound like a spoon tapping glass. Yet, upon hearing the chime, you feel as if a startling tornado siren had gone off, warning you of impending doom and destruction. Your heart beats like a frantic bird confined in a small metal cage, sounding like the war drums of an invading army in your ears, filling you with an ice-cold dread every time you look at the fluorescent blue screen. You knew this was inevitable, as the stream of heartfelt I love you’s and playful conversation had trickled over the last few months into a tenuous drip of meaningless hello’s, and chats littered with messages that were seen but never acknowledged. Yet, the thought of it occurring just before you went to bed made your hands and lips quiver softly, like the newly forming teardrops hanging from your eyelashes, waiting to drop and splash onto the rumpled pillow covers. You pick up the little flat square in your hand, ice rushing through your veins, stomach contorting like a wrung-out washcloth, and clicked on the little green square that would soon reveal your fate. It was from them, you see their name pop up on the screen, with the little emoji that you put on their contact in the beginning but never had the heart to remove afterward. The little bird in your chest gave its last feeble flutter before falling off its perch. A small blue bubble appeared on the white background, saying in its monotone white lettering, “I don’t like doing this over text but call me when you can”.  One more bubble appeared, as to throw salt in the wounds of your heart. “Oh also, can I have my sweatshirts back? Drop them off at my mom’s house tomorrow. Thanks.”