I hadn’t seen her for five months. For five months thoughts of her addled everything I did. So by noon tomorrow I’d be in the air—if I could finish everything I’d promised Liz in return for four weeks leave.

While an update ran I collated reports. I made piles on my desk with post-it notes. I cleared my inbox. Finally just one call to make. I dialed the number from memory. Got a message. While it played Ferguson told me some lame joke. At the beep I left a reminder for Chaz to fix the conference invoice. My head, this whole time, was full of little else but her smile and the thought of being together.

Back home I listened to my machine while I packed. The first voice sounded awfully familiar. A message for some guy called Chaz. Chaz? I’d almost finished listening to my own goodbye before I realised what I’d done.

The next message was from her. ‘Can’t wait to see you.’ Followed by kisses. I decided not to delete it. When she realised what a bubble-brain I was she’d surely send me packing and her voice and telephone kisses would be all I’d have left.

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