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The Messenger’s Plight




Arnold Emmanuel




James was sitting in the restaurant for thirty minutes.  He’d wait another thirty before he left.  He had to go see Cindy.  To see if everything was okay.  She hadn’t talked to him for a while and he was quite worried.  It was hard because her cell always went to her voice mail, and poor girl, the cell must’ve died or something because eventually the number was out of service.  That was sad.  She was never home because she was extremely busy.  After twenty messages or so, he’d thought he’d wait for her to call him back.  He didn’t want to seem overanxious or crazy or anything.  He pulled back the sleeve of his sweater slightly, looked at his watch, then let the sleeve fall again.  His friend, David, was late.  James was a patient man though, he wasn’t going anywhere.  After stirring his coffee and watching the black change to a creamy brown, he noticed a gentleman with slicked back black hair walking in draped with a black leather jacket.  James gave a nod.


David raised his eyebrows and sat down.  “Hey, sorry I’m late.  Parking’s just crazy.”


“I took the bus myself.”  James smiled.  “Coffee?”


“No, no.  I just had to talk to you.”


“Cool.  About what?”  James tapped his spoon on the side of his cup.  “Don’t mind me if I seem a bit harried, I’m going to head over to Cindy’s to see if she’s okay.”


“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”  David took a breath, looked around at all the people in the restaurant, and leaned forward putting his elbows on the table.  “Cindy doesn’t want to see you anymore.”


“And how do you know that?”  James licked his spoon and set it beside his coffee cup.


David rolled his eyes.  “Look buddy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but she talked to me and wanted me to tell you, she doesn’t want to see you anymore.  She says no phone calls, no emails, no text messages, no going to her house or workplace...”


“Sounds like you’ve got a script there.”


“I’ve got a pretty good memory.”


“Makes you a good messenger then.”


David nodded.  “So yeah, that’s pretty much the message.  She’s breaking up with you.”


James took a sip then set his cup back down.  “Did she say why?”


David sighed.  “I don’t know man.  She says...okay don’t kill the messenger, but she says you hit her a lot?  I mean I just can’t believe that.”


“She’s lying, I don’t.”


“Then how’d she get that black eye?”


James shrugged.  “What can I say?  She fell.  So now you give her a message for me.”


David shook his head.  “I don’t think that would be a good idea, James.”


“Just tell her, I love her and I’m sorry and I’ll never do it again.”


“You just said she’s lying!  I was right here.”  David shook his head, put his hands on the table and stood up.  “I’ll see you later.  I think you need help.”


James got up, knocked his chair over and grabbed David by the sleeve of his jacket.  “Where do you think you’re going?  I’m not done yet.”


“Dude, you’d better let go!”


“I don’t think so!”  James threw a fist and hit David in the eye.  He gasped as David ran away.  “I’m sorry man!  I’m sorry!  Look, tell her I love her and I’ll change!  I’ll change!”           







ARNOLD EMMANUEL resides in Edmonton, Alberta working part-time at a fast food restaurant and tries to find time to write when he can. 




"The motivation for this story came from my online writing group’s word of the week, which was messenger.  I can be emailed at"