Chapter Ten: Birthday

by Emon Hassan on December 12, 2008

“She’s not feeling so well.”

He slides the door to the porch shut behind Mel and walks over to the master bedroom.

“I have to talk to her”

“I don’t think she wants to talk to anybody.”

“Anybody…or just me?”

“Well, anybody.”

“Tim, I need to speak to her now.”

“I don’t know.”

“Tim, please!!”

“What is this about?”

“I can’t tell you.”



“Bye now.”


It was strange to hear from Valerie on this day. She never misses calling Mel on Hudson’s birthday. Mel is a wreck after she calls. How did they ever become best friends in the first place. Tim looks out the window. Mel is still staring at one of the trees in the back. It’s grown tall. Hudson used to walk up with his tiny legs and water it ever since the three of them planted it. TV is on; forest fire just two hundred miles away from the 56 inch flat screen. California reporter showing signs of worry on her face. What’s with her makeup? The fire: Each one seems to show a little more rage than the last. Punishing California for being so…



Tim hates it when women cry over the phone.

“You can’t upset her.”

No answer.

“You promise me?”


He’s not convinced. Something keeps telling him not to put her through to Mel.

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