Practically jumping out of his skin, Dylan scrambled for his ringing, vibrating, singing and dancing mobile phone that had just sprung to life on his bedside table. Why did these things sound so much louder at night?!
‘Hello?’ he muttered groggily, blearily climbing out of bed and tiptoeing across the room, pulling his robe about him.
‘Dylan! Did I wake you?’ Clara’s cheery voice boomed down the phone. Dylan winced. He’d never understood how she managed to be so cheery at five o’clock in the morning. No, scratch that… He never understood how she managed to be awake at five o’clock every morning.
‘Clara, hi! Of course you did,’ Dylan joked, running a hand through his bed head.
‘Sorry about that! Listen, we were wondering when you were going to be coming back to Bridgeport, if you knew? No pressure, it’s just that we haven’t heard much lately, and, well…’
‘It’s fine, Clara. I’m sorry, I’ve just… I’ve had a lot on my mind lately.’
‘Well that’s understandable Dylan!’
‘No, no, not like that. Clara, listen… I’m not coming back.’
‘I’m not coming back. I’m sorry, I should’ve told you sooner. I love it here in Appaloosa Plains, and I’m buying my house here with the compensation money. I was going to look into a transfer here. I just… I can’t come back, Clara. I’ve already got so much more here than I ever had in Bridgeport…’
Dylan could practically hear Clara’s beaming smile down the phone. ‘Well then in that case Dylan, I’m happy for you. Sad that you won’t be joining us again, but your well being is the priority! I’ll give the Plains’ station a ring and tell them you’ll pop in and see them for a chat, if you like?’
‘That’d be great, Clara! Thank you so much!’ After a quick catch up, Dylan sidled back into bed next to Louise, cuddling up close to her.
‘So you’re not leaving?’
‘Of course I am. I’m really happy you’re staying, Dylan…’
Dylan smiled softly to himself, pulling Louise a little closer. ‘I am too, Louise. I am too…’