Out of the blues, Lily called him. He waited to almost a minute, staring in disbelief at the screen, before pressing the accept button and slowly lifted the mobile phone to his ear. "Hello..." he managed to say; trying hard to hide any trace of tremor in his voice- he failed miserably. He got off the park bench and walked some distance away to escape the piercing screams and laughter of children in the nearby playground.
"Christian? How are you?" she said less than he had expected. Her words were audibly clear and compulsively neat. Her melody-like voice was the same old one. His heart skipped a beat; he felt like honey was being poured into the depths of his soul. He closed his eyes, imagined her, and he wanted to hug her.
"Sorry for the bother, I cannot help but want to hear you say that you are fine. Are you?" she said, her words carefully well chosen. Christian listened, quiet and meticulous, not knowing what to say. He had waited for this day for a very long time. His chest heaved rhythmically but slowly with the long deep breaths he inhaled and exhaled and the air was so heavy that it passed through both his nostrils and mouth making it difficult for him to speak. He struggled with words albeit unsuccessfully; there was so much he wanted to say- but how?
"Where are you? Come home, Lily, please." Christian listened to his words as carefully as he had said them. The words were not much, but straight to the point; as straight as a homophobic man.