Midnight Advice

There was a soft buzz as his phone danced across the top of the table, the screen illuminated to alert him to the new message waiting to be read.

He rolled over and fumbled for a moment before he found the cellular device and brought it close to his face, barely even glancing at the time as he squinted in the dark at the screen.

I need advice.

He rolled onto his back and rearranged himself under the covers, giving up on sleep for the moment as he unlocked the phone and started to type back.

What’s the matt–

Before he could finish, another message appeared below the first, and he let out a sound somewhere between a laugh and a sigh.

Nevermind I already did the stupid thing.

He erased the beginnings of his original message and started over, trying to keep his eyes open as the night slowly continued to tick by.

Call me?

He waited, not daring to lock the screen again, unless he fell asleep as soon as the cool white glow vanished from in front of his face. It didn’t take long before another message joined the others.

It’s late. Shouldn’t you be sleeping?

He chuckled and replied, shaking his head out of reflex in the darkened room.

Should, but clearly not. Talk to me.

There was hardly even a minute of silence before the phone started to buzz in his hand, the incoming call quickly answered as he closed his eyes and waited for the flood of information.

“What stupid thing are you doing so late at night?” He prompted when he was met with silence.

There was a pause, nothing, and then a soft whisper and the deep inhale of someone trying not to cry.

Suddenly he was wide awake, every muscle tensed in preparation to leap from his bed and hightail it to her side, even at this hour. He waited another ten seconds, and when there was still no voice on the other end, he sat up in bed and started fumbling for the light.

“Babe, talk to me. What’s going on?”

It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten messages asking for advice in the early hours of the morning, it wasn’t even the first time he’d gotten a teary call, but there was always an explanation that accompanied the disturbances.

“Can you come over?” The barely audible request came as he was tugging on a hoodie and shoving his feet into shoes that did not want to cooperate.

“Already on the way. Stay on the phone, okay? I can drive one-handed.”

“That’s not safe.”

You’re not safe.” The tone he used was light and teasing, but they both knew he wasn’t joking.

“Don’t tell your dad you were being a dangerous driver.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.” He grabbed his keys and wallet, hurrying out the door without so much as turning off the light. “Be there soon, okay?”

“Okay.”

“Don’t hang up.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

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