"Grant." Andrews voice seemed distant, hazy and unreal, as if it were simply a memory echoing in his head. "There's more."
He shook his head, even though some small part of him knew that he was on the phone, and that Andrew couldn't see him. "I don't... I don't want to hear more," he said slowly, his mind fading, shrinking away.
"No, Grant, you have to," Andrew insisted, but Grant could barely hear him. Yet no matter how much he wanted to ignore Andrew's words his ears and his mind wouldn't cooperate. He sank slowly to the floor, as Andrew described his girlfriend's death to him.
"She was hit by a car. It was a hit-and-run. They said that she died almost instantly though, and that there was no pain. But Grant she looks... you have to prepare yourself."
Prepare himself. That's what he had been doing. Preparing for their night. He was taking her out. Any moment now, she was going to call, so he could come get her. And he was going to kiss her, and hold her, and hear her voice. Cause that had been their plan.
"Grant? Are you there man?" It barely registered. It was a background noise, drowned out but the sheer silence that was overpowering him.
"Yes." He didn't feel himself saying it, but he had nonetheless.
"Are you okay?"
Moments after Andrew said it, Grant found himself gasping for breath. His fists were clenched, but the phone was gone. He looked around, and saw it across the room, laying in pieces on the floor. His throat felt hoarse, and he realized he must have been yelling.
Belatedly he heard the phone ringing in the other room. It had been for some time, he realized. It just hadn't registered.
Taylor. Taylor was...
No, he couldn't think that. She couldn't be, he'd just seen her. They had plans, he was taking her out. In fact that was probably her calling. She would need to be picked up. He'd tell her about what Andrew told him, and it would be a funny story. Because she wasn't... she couldn't be.
To prove it, he went to the kitchen and looked at the phone. Just like he thought, it was Taylor calling.
He clicked the button. "Taylor," he breathed, trying not to sound panicked.
There was no answer at first, all he heard was a small shudder, and a couple of gasps. Then Taylor's mother said, "Grant, honey, we need to talk." Her voice was shaky, and strained. He could hear her breathing shakily.
"No." It was all he could manage.
"Something has happened."
"No," he repeated. "It's not true, Ruth."
She let out a sob. "Did someone already tell you?" she asked timidly.
"This isn't funny!" he yelled. "Stop it!"
Her words were broken apart by sobs. "I'm s-sorry Grant. It's the... truth," she broke off, and started to take a few deep breaths.
"No, no, I just saw her," he insisted. "She was fine, she is fine."
"She was on her way home," her mother said, struggling to keep her voice steady. "She was crossing the street, on Queen Street. The car h-hit h-her, and... and..." she trailed crying.
"Shut up," he whispered. He didn't want to hear any more of their lies. He clicked the phone off, and set it down on the counter. It started ringing again almost immediately afterward, but he didn't hear.
He stood there in the kitchen, not moving, feeling his head start to compress, pushing their words far away from him.
Taylor wasn't... that. She wasn't. It was impossible. She was 20 years old. People didn't die at that age. There was a mistake. They saw the wrong girl. Or maybe all this was in his head. A side effect from all the weed.
Taylor was fine. She would call him soon. She'd need to be picked up.