Message Read

Chloe had a special notification tone just for him. She rarely bothered even looking at her phone unless she heard that special sound.

That morning, she grabbed the phone eagerly when the sound pulled her from a restless sleep haunted by strange voices calling out to her from the darkness.

See you tonight – be there 6ish ❤️

Her heart soared and she knew it would be a good day after all.

After a hard day at work, Chloe quickly tidied the small apartment and ran a brush through her hair. The clock read 5:45 and he would be there any minute. Opening a bottle of wine, she took one last glance in the mirror and forced herself to sit down to relax before he arrived, barely able to contain her excitement.

At 6:02, she heard the special sound again.

I’m here 😘

They sat briefly on the small sofa, her phone completely forgotten on the coffee table now that he was finally with her, sipping wine and laughing and exchanging sensuous glances, but the week spent apart proved to be too much and they quickly moved to the bedroom. She pulled him down to the bed, her breathing quickening, her whole body aching for his touch.

As he wrapped his arms around her, holding her fast against him as he kissed her, all at once her excitement fell away as though a switch had been flipped inside her when a sound rang out from the living room.

His sound.

She pushed him gently away, staring intently into his eyes, her breathing coming faster, though no longer from the thrill of his touch.

“I… I should just check that quickly…” Her voice was steady though her knees felt weak. “It might be work.”

He smiled what looked like the familiar smile. “Go ahead. I’ll be here…”

She wandered in a daze to the living room and picked up her phone. The time read 6:27.

So sorry – running so late. Be there in 10. Love you.

Hands trembling, Chloe turned toward the bedroom, eyes widening and the blood pounding in her ears as she stared into the darkness. Her eyes flitted uncomprehending back and forth from her phone screen to the vaguely silhouetted shape in her bed.

A voice called out from the darkness and a cold shiver ran down Chloe’s back.

“Come back to bed, sweetheart. I’m waiting…”

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