Hotline for the Heartbroken






Hotline for the Heartbroken i don’t even know stories
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rxsxs
rxsxsI’m bullshxting my way to writerdom
Autoplay OFF  •  a year ago
{ (Relatively) Long | Some swearing } On call centers, failed romance, and how answers are never there when you want them.

Hotline for the Heartbroken

Welcome to the 24/7 closure hotline. Due to a large call volume and general apathy, a representative is unavailable at this time.

As part of your complimentary breakup package provided upon sign-up, one question per a 60 minute period is allowed while waiting.

[ Why did you break-up with me? ]

Please note that representatives, automated or otherwise, are not your ex. They are merely stand-ins to vicariously speed the grieving process.

[ Why did she break up with me? ]

You have already asked your alloted question for this 60 minute period. Please wait for 0 hours, 58 minutes and 24 seconds before asking your next question.

[ Son of a bitch. ]

Maybe that’s why she broke up with you.

[ What? ]

You have already asked your alloted question for this 60 minute period. Please wait for-

[ Shut- ]

57 minutes and 37 seconds before asking your next question.

[ You responded to the last thing I said. ]

That wasn’t a question.

[ Oh, so that’s how it- hold on, shut the hell up, don’t say it. ]

...

. . .

. . .

[ She didn’t even give me a reason. She just said she “wasn’t ready”. ]

That sounds like a reason.

[ It’s not a good one. ]

Why do you say that?

[ Because I loved her. ]

And?

[ What do you mean, “and”? ]

You have already asked your alloted-

[ question for this 60 minute period. Please shut up and go fuck yourself, I get it. ]

You say that, but you appear to have trouble grasping the concept.

[ - muffled screaming - ]

[ - sigh - ]

[ I did everything right, too. I didn’t yell at her, I paid for her food, I complimented her. And in the end, none of it was worth anything. ]

What would have made it worth it?

[ God, I don’t know, maybe if she gave me a chance? What kind of question- ]

Would you have done it if you knew she wasn’t going to date you?

[ What? ]

...

[ No. Why would I? ]

You have already-

[ - more muffled screaming - ]

...

[ It’d be stupid for me to try. Nobody would waste their money and time like that. Not when she would want someone better looking, or more successful, or- ]

Did she say that she wanted that?

[ What? No. Not directly. But she obviously wanted that, if I wasn’t good enough for her. ]

You said she wasn’t ready.

[ She said that. That doesn’t mean it’s true. ]

How do you know?

[ Everyone’s like that. I’m not the kinda guy that girls would swoon over. I’m not really popular in general. ]

I never would have guessed.

[ I’ve never met a bot that was so shitty at its job. ]

You must have an amazing spam filter. I’m envious.

[ Christ, why am I still talking to you? ]

You don’t have anyone else to talk to.

[ Go fuck yourself. ]

...

[ I just thought she cared. That she was different. I thought I found someone that wasn’t shallow and awful to talk to. ]

She sounds like she cared.

[ I know you’re not an actual person, but even a bot can’t be that stupid. She didn’t care. You don’t even know her. ]

And you did?

[ I thought I did. ]

[ ...We would talk pretty often. We had Environmental Science with the same professor. She spilled her iced tea on my jacket in our 8:00 AM lecture. ]

[ She was actually kinda pretty, so I thought she was humiliate me in front of everyone else, but she didn’t. ]

You have awfully low expectations.

[ She was so nervous. I couldn’t get a word in edgewise between her apologizing. It was nice, I’ll admit, having her attention. ]

“She” has a name, doesn’t she?

[ ...Avery. Avery Clark. ]

For someone who ruined your jacket, you seem pretty attached to Avery.

[ She was hellbent on making it up to me. The next time I saw her, she marched up to me and handed me a cup of chai tea. ]

When did you tell her you liked chai tea?

[ I didn’t. I hated tea. ]

Oh.

[ It was spicy. I didn’t think it was possible for an iced drink to be spicy, but it was. And the aftertaste made me want to hurl. ]

You drank the tea even though you hate tea?

[ I didn’t know it was tea. She told me after I took the first sip. ]

You should use her name.

[ I’m talking like I normally would. ]

But you’re not using her name.

[ I shouldn’t have to. You already know who I’m talking about. ]

Fine. If you’re too scared, I’ll do it for you. What did Avery do when she figured out you dislike tea?

[ She never figured it out. I’m pretty sure I pulled a face, because she asked me if I didn’t like it. Her voice got all quiet and I felt bad, so I told her I loved it. ]

[ It was the worst thing I’ve ever had to consume, but her smile made that the best drink I’ve ever had. ]

[ And I’m not scared. ]

That was the first non-abrasive thing that you have said this entire conversation.

[ ...yeah. She- ]

[ Avery... has that effect on people, I think. It sounds cliche, but lights up a room just by walking into it. And you always know it was her walking into it.

[ She wears her hair in a super long braid, and I’ve never seen her without something yellow on her person. ]

You still make her sound like she cared.

[ Maybe she did care. ]

[ I just thought she cared about me. ]

[ We talked more often. She kept on bringing me chai tea, so I joked that she should just bring me to wherever she got it from to save time. ]

You have an odd sense of humor.

[ Mind your own business. ]

[ But Avery did. She wasn’t joking. And she gave me her number so we could meet up at this juice bar or something, I don’t remember. ]

Did you enjoy the juice bar more than the tea?

[ No. I hated it. I didn’t even talk to her, actually. She pulled out a bunch of notebooks and put on some headphones, and started writing down notes. ]

[ I had to grab my laptop from my car and pretend I was being productive. ]

[ But she tapped my shoulder, and I got chills on an 80 degree afternoon. I turn around, and she’s got this look on her face, and she mutters something. ]

[ I go, “what?” and she goes, barely louder than before, “Do you understand any of this?” ]

[ She flipped her laptop around and there was a bunch of diagrams on environmental law and stuff. Real easy. I explained it, and she looks at me like I’m the Messiah. She called me smart. ]

Are you actually smart?

[ I felt smart. You should have seen Avery’s face. ]

[ We went to the same place more often before midterms to study. Well, for Avery to study. She’d ask me to help and every time I did, she would call me smart, clever, that kinda thing. ]

[ She’d make me feel interesting, and even though she would never actually talk about herself, it felt easy to be around her. ]

Felt. Past-tense?

[ ...yeah. I guess maybe I fucked up. ]

[ It was the last week before midterms, and we’re about to leave. ]

[ I finally work up the balls to text her, and she listened to how college has been going so far, why I chose Kansas U, my music taste, all that stuff. ]

[ She even sent me some songs she thought I might like back, so she had to have been listening. Avery’s about to leave, and I tell her I have something for good luck. ]

[ She beams, and says, “What?”, and I turn her around and kiss her on the cheek. ]

[ Her expression goes from excited to terrified. She tried to hide it, but she has an awful poker face. ]

[ I remember her saying something about how she has an appointment with her RA or something like that before she ran off to her car. ]

I know you said you weren’t popular, but even you have to have known that was a poor decision.

[ Go to hell. ]

[ She didn’t even tell me in person. She just sent me a paragraph about how I misinterpreted everything and how she didn’t mean to lead me on, how she didn’t want anything like that. ]

[ The midterm was awful. Our exam was in a different room for proctoring reasons or whatever, so she didn’t see me at first. ]

[ But after time was up, she slipped by and dropped off a cup of chai tea on my desk. ]

[ She wrote “I’m sorry” with a frowny face on the cup in golden sharpie. That’s the last time I’ve heard from her. ]

[ I was stupid to think that she actually cared. ]

Nothing that you said so far indicates otherwise.

[ Have you been listening? ]

You have already asked your alloted question for this 60 minute period. Please wait 0 hours, 36 minutes and 42 seconds before-

[ Go fuck yourself. ]

You say she doesn’t care. But just because she didn’t want to date you didn’t mean she didn’t care.

You were happier with her there, right?

[ I would have been happier if she stuck around. ]

She tried to get you things she thought you’d like. The tea, the conversations, the music you said she sent. It seemed like Avery at least cared about you being happy.

[ If she really cared, she would have dated me. ]

Did you care?

[ Of course I cared. I wouldn’t have talked to her otherwise. ]

Then you didn’t care. Not the way she did, anyway.

[ Like hell I didn’t. You wouldn’t know. ]

It shows. Did you ever bother asking her about the music she sent you?

[ We had similar music tastes. There wasn’t anything to ask about. ]

You assumed you had similar music tastes. She said she sent music she thought you would enjoy, didn’t she? She never said it was music she enjoyed.

You assumed that the compliments were because she was romantically interested in you, not because she genuinely believed in you as a person.

Hell, you assumed that the reason why she kept on buying you tea was because you were special, not because she felt bad about spilling tea on your jacket.

[ I loved her. That should have been enough. ]

You loved the feeling she gave you and you assumed that was all she had to offer.

Avery Clark cared about you. She cared enough to let you go rather than let you live a lie she would be complacent in. She cared enough to give even when there was nothing to receive.

She cared about everyone wholeheartedly and unconditionally. That’s more than can be said for you.

Your love was a demand; her kindness was an offer.

The only question you have to ask is how you could have possibly mistaken the two.

[ ...How? ]

You have already asked your alloted question for this 60 minute period. Please wait...

[ God fucking dammit. ]

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