twenty-first | call me

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thea:
hey are you busy?
I know you're probably getting ready for the premiere tonight
if you are it's okay

tom:
no, I always have time for you, love :)
what's going on?

thea:
it's my dad

tom:
your dad?

thea is typing...

tom:
is everything alright?
thea what happened?

thea:
can I call you?

tom:
yeah of course!
you don't have to ask

Incoming Call
from
thea
Accept Decline

"Hey! Are you okay?"

[ sniffling and rustling from the other line ]
"Um, I don't know. We-we got a phone call today, well, my mom did, and, um, it was from this lady. Do-do you remember I told you about m-my dad?"

"How you used to read comics together...and how he left when you were nine?"

[ she quietly lets out a sob into her hand ]
"Y-yeah."

"Thea—what's—what happened?"

"Um—well, I said that Mom got a phone call? W-well the lady who called her, her name was Selene, she called because dad—had a h-heart attack."
[ a loud wail escapes her mouth ]

[ he stops moving and stands up, ignoring the protests of his stylist who tells him to sit back down ]
"Thea..."

"A-and they rushed him to the hospital, but—but he—he died in the ambulance. His heart stopped. It-it just stopped. And he's-he's dead."
[ she whispers the last word as if she can't believe it, or because she doesn't want to ]

"Thea..."
[ he shuffles his way across the room to a couch and takes a seat, running a hand through his hair, to the annoyance of his stylist ]

[ she chokes out her words through her sobs ]
"I didn't even—get to see him—one last time. I never tried—to f-find him or c-call him. I don't hear from him or about him for twelve years—and now when I do, it's because he's—he's gone. God, Tom, why am I so stupid?"
[ her free hand pulls at her hair in anger and agitation before she slams it on the coffee table in front of her ]

[ he flinches at the loud sound on the other line as his heart aches for the girl ]
"Thea, you're not stupid."

"Yeah? Then why didn't I t-try to find my dad? Or call him? Or—or something?"
[ her voice that had started out strong, turns to a pained whisper ]

"Thea. He hurt you and your family when he left. And he could have reached out to you or your brother at any time if he wanted to and he never did. You're not the one at fault here."

"I still could have tried. And now I never can."
[ she let out a strangled sob causing her dog to howl ]
"Why'd he have to leave? Were we not good enough for him?"

"He didn't leave you because you weren't good enough. If anything, you're too good ."

"Then why did he replace us?"

"What?"
[ he sits up straight, his eyebrows furrowing in confusion at what the girl said ]

"The lady who called Mom was his-his new girlfriend or whatever.  That's what she told Mom when she called her. And that—that Isaac and I have a five-year-old half brother. He s-started a new f-family. Because he didn't—didn't want us."
[ her phone slips out of her hands onto the floor and she wraps her arms around her bod, her breathing speeds up, her constant sniffles turning into uncontrollable sobs. duck her dog plops down next to her, cradling his head in her lap, and whines ]

"Thea...Thea...Thea!"
[ he calls her name multiple times, and after a few minutes her cries die down and she answers him ]

"What?"
[ her voice is raw and cracks as she speaks ]

[ he speaks softly, attempting to soothe her and wishing he could be with her in person to comfort her ]
"Thea, you know, maybe he didn't want you. But it wasn't because of anything you did. It was the biggest fucking mistake of his entire life. And even if he didn't want you, there are so many others who do want you. Your mum, Bex, Isaac..."
[he hesitates, nervously playing with the hem of his shirt before continuing ]
"...me."

[ she sniffles, wiping her face with the sleeve of her free arm, smiling a little ]
"You mean that, Tom?"

"Thea, why would I lie to you? These last two months that I've been talking to you have been some of the best months of my life. You're an amazing girl: smart, witty, kind, beautiful. I'm lucky I ran into you at the airport...and the store. The bruises were definitely worth it. "
[he smiles as he hears a small laugh come from her end of the line ]

[ duck nudges her hand and she smiles, but not just because of duck, petting his head ]
"You're really great, you know that?"

"I know."
[he chuckles and she smiles even wider ]
"So are you going to meet him? Your half brother?"

[ she shrugs and then, chagrined, remembers that she's on the phone and he can't see her, causing her to blush ]
"I think so. The funeral is in a few weeks and she'll be there and will probably bring Sam, that's his name, since he was his dad too."

"How do you feel about that?"

"I don't know, honestly. I mean, it might be nice to have another brother. But he'll also be a reminder of how Dad left us and I don't know how I'll handle that or if I even want to find out if it's like that. Plus, if he's anything like Isaac it might actually be a nightmare. I don't even want to think what those two could do."
[ she shudders and lets out a small laugh ]

"Well, if you need support or someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, I can be all of the above, so ring me or send me a text whenever."

"Thanks, Tom. I really appreciate that. And you."
[ her face flushes pink and she looks at the floor shyly ]
"I'm here for you too, Tom. I mean it."

[ he allows himself a large smile, his heart warming at the girl's words ]
"You're amazing, Theodora Evella James, always remember that."
[ he glances across the room to his stylist who raises her eyebrows at him and points to her wrist ]
"I wish I could stay and talk to you forever but my stylist is telling me that I need to get ready. But I'll talk to you later, love."

"Okay, talk to you later. Oh, and tell me how the movie is."

[ he laughs, shaking his head ]
"We'll see, Thea."

"Haha, okay. Bye, Tom—Wait, Tom?"

"Yeah?"

"You're pretty amazing too."

Call Ended

thea:
thank you 💕💕

tom:
anytime, darling ☺️
read 5:26pm

——
April 24, 2018

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