John Cave was sat at his desk when the telephone rang. It was early morning and he was finalising his lessons for the week ahead. He looked forward to discussing the light of long dead stars and feeding off the energy of his young students.
His students were his focus now, and one student in particular. Catherine. Beautiful, shining, new Catherine.
Beside him, and despite the hour, the telephone continued to sound. He didn’t answer. He was too preoccupied with the speed at which he was managing his latest relationship. He looked forward to going beyond the theory once tomorrow’s debate finished and all but one of those bright young things had filtered out of the classroom.
He let the telephone ring.
He knew who was calling and had no intention of answering. He’d not seen her for days. Eight years of intimacy had run its course and the sooner she accepted that the better. He’d handled the breakup well, he thought, severing it once the flow of emails to Catherine became constant and explicit; with physicality all but assured.
No, the caller, his ex, his one time binary, she would get no more answers from him. He’d explained that their relationship was like that of a dead star. When I look at you, he explained to her that last morning in bed, all I am really seeing is the past. You can’t possibly catch me up.
John Cave sighed, a man caught in his own reflections. Perhaps, he thought, she feels a heartbeat is faster than the speed of light.
He liked the sound of that.
Opening an email he wrote: C, let’s make today the day our heartbeats out run the speed of light, JC x.
The last echo of the telephone faded and John Cave sent the email to his latest infatuation, not realising that as fast as the sun may rise, shadows spread even faster.