The Payphone Out Front
Short Story by: Silence Too Loud
The Payphone Out Front
Matt Morison was tipsy. He wasn't shit faced, smashed, wasted or drunk, he was tipsy. Big, bad business men don't get "drunk" while at the office, but it’s okay to drink a little scotch, right? What could that hurt?
"Mr. Morison, not only are you drunk, but you're married, get off of me," Kimberly, the nice young secretary from outside his office screeched, shoving him roughly.
"Come one baby, give me some!" he yelled jovial as he reached for her skirt and pulled on the hem.
Seeing the exchange, Carson, the man who had the office next to him, burst out.
"Matt, what're you doing? Can't you see the lady doesn't want it? Besides what would Carly think?" He yelled pulling him back by his collar.
Not stopping to answer, Carson dragged Matt down the hall (attracting quite a lot of attention while he did so) and through the front doors of the regal office building. Glaring at him, he launched him the direction of Main Street.
"Come back when you're sober and not a jack ass, yeah?" he instructed him, moving back through the glass double doors and back to work, leaving Matt in the middle of the side walk, drunk, and in plenty of people's way.
Muttering excuse me to a few disgruntled pedestrians, he shuffled towards an iron bench placed awkwardly against a tree. He dropped down with a 'thunk' and laid his head back, placing a hand against his forehead.
Matt briefly considered hailing a cab so he could just go home, but ultimately decided that it wouldn't be worth the trouble with getting a cab in a city this size, or the trouble he was going to have with his boss tomorrow.
He sighed, and relaxed his shoulders against the cool Kelly green metal bench.
Kevin slicked his hair back with some water as he stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. He looked good, he looked hot. Adjusting the collar of his button up shirt, he pushed the doors to his high schools restroom open.
This is it, he thought. Today he is going to ask that special someone out and they are going to go on a date and everything will be wondrous. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, that's what.
He put on his best self-confident grin and made his way towards Quinn, his closest high school friend. He approached calmly.
Quinn spotted him and turned in his direction, smiling.
"Hey man, have you decided which lucky chick you're going to be taking to the dance?" he asked Kevin, slapping him on the shoulder.
Kevin just stood there, like a deer caught in the headlights. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, much like a goldfish.
"Dude, you okay?" Quinn asked him, concerned.
Kevin, get a hold of yourself man. Kevin mentally shook himself and smiled at Quinn.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine bro. Who're you asking?" he attempted to change the subject.
Quinn smirked and turned Kevin in the direction of a pretty, red headed cheerleader.
"Cherie? Quinn, she'd never go with you. Give up now!" Kevin exclaimed, trying to subtly keep him from going with some bottle ginger hoe (Who admittedly, had pretty good tasted. That is one nice scarf.)
"You jealous? Watch me ask her, she'll say yes."
Kevin watched in defeat as Cherie giggled girlishly and nodded before giving Quinn her number. Kevin crossed his arms and huffed dramatically, slamming his back into the locker behind him.
Stupid Cherie, stealing the only good looking boy in the school.
Kevin waved half-heartedly to Quinn go gave him a thumbs up, before stomping out the front door of the school. Plopping down onto one of the disgusting wooden benches outside, he glanced towards the payphone across the street.
If he didn't come out to someone he was going to explode.
Matt Morison had been sitting in the same place for almost two hours now, and he was still undecided on how he wanted to go about the day. So far, sitting out front sounded like the best option, though he knew he was going to have to get back to work eventually.
The ringing of the rusty payphone to his left wrenched him from his thoughts. It was very randomly placed, almost in the middle of the sidewalk. In his stupor, he didn't even register the ringing for a good half a minute. Then, as soon as it clicked, he stood up without thinking and lifted the greasy ebony phone off the hook.
Kevin stood up in a fit of determination and moved towards the payphone across the street. He walked through the freshly cut grass, ignoring the protests of the hired gardener watering the green buffalo grass.
He made his way to the end of the sidewalk and strutted straight through traffic, even as tires screeched and horns blared. Still glaring, he stepped up onto the sidewalk.
He faced the payphone, thinking about exactly what his plan was now that he had reached his destination.
Sighing, he wrapped his fingers around the black plastic and held to his ear.
"Hi," the voice on the other end of the line answered. The whole situation dumbfounded Matt; then again most things dumbfounded him when he was drunk.
Matt just stood there, breathing into the phone awkwardly.
"How are you?" the voice on the other end asked politely.
"I'm… I'm fine. How are you?" Matt returned the sentiment, confusion still lacing his gravelly voice.
"Oh, you know, okay. Well, that's a lie. I'm not okay," the stranger rambled.
Matt just looked at the phone a moment before replying.
"Uh, yeah? What's bothering you?" Matt asked the man on the other end, wondering how soon he could politely hang up.
"Nothing big, nothing big, what's on your mind?" The voice questioned wholeheartedly.
Matt leaned against the metal box that housed the payphone and thought to himself 'what is bothering me?' He was drunk, not at work, not dealing with Carly; life was pretty good at the moment.
"Not much. I'm drunk and content!" he answered honestly and loudly, earning a few sideways glances from the people milling about the streets.
The voice chuckled.
Kevin smiled into the phone. It felt good to talk to someone that wasn't Quinn or his mother.
"That's good, sounds like you're one happy camper," Kevin replied to the man, who indeed sounded drunk and happy.
"Now tell me what your problem is?" the man on the other end asked Kevin, who sighed loudly.
"The person I was going to ask to the school dance is going with someone else." Kevin glared at the school building, as if it has personally offended him.
"That's too bad, was she pretty?" the man questioned, and Kevin chuckled awkwardly. This is it, he was going to tell somebody. Granted, it wasn't somebody that mattered, but it was somebody and that's all that mattered at the moment.
"Actually, it's a he," Kevin muttered into the phone, averting his gaze from the people on the street that might have overheard.
There was silent on the other end, and for a moment Kevin wondered if the other man wasn't okay with his gay-ness or something. Maybe he had made him feel uncomfortable?
"Oh, is he handsome?" Kevin very nearly dropped the phone at that response. He wasn't really sure what he had expected, but that certainly wasn't it.
"Yeah, he is. His name is Quinn, blonde," Kevin replied slowly.
"That's too bad, that he's going with someone else, but cheer up! There's other fish in the sea, right?" The man asked positively, he could almost hear his corny smile through the phone.
"Do you have kids?" Kevin wondered. He didn't think anyone without kids would be capable of handling this situation so… naturally.
"No, but my wife Carly really wants a baby," he told Kevin.
"Ah, um, good luck with that," Kevin offered.
"Oh, I don't want kids," the man explained.
Kevin nodded, before remembering the man couldn't see him.
"Neither do I," Kevin answered.
"Why not?" The man wondered aloud.
"Because life is Hell for me, and it'll be worse for them," Kevin replied, trying to sound sage.
Matt sighed; Carson was waving his arms wildly from inside the building signaling to him that break time was over and that he needed to get his drunken ass back to work.
"Hey man, I got to get back to work. It was nice talking to you," Matt told the kid honestly.
"I've probably got to get back to school. Fifth period just started, what's your name anyway?" the kid asked him, sounding a bit put out.
"Matt, what's yours?"
"Nice to meet you Kevin."
"Nice to meet you Matt. "
Both hung up on the payphone out front and got back to life.
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