Farewell Present by Angel Melendez

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Richard lay sleeping peacefully when the rude telephone ringing abruptly yanked him into consciousness. He searched for the receiver blindly in the darkness. Feeling his way around the side of the bed seemed an impossible task. The shrill cry of the hidden device made things harder as he'd only been awake a minute and was already irritated. He fumbled around a bit more, almost falling off the bed, when he finally found the phone. Victory was his.
"Good morning Mr. Green. This is your wake six a.m. wake up call." Said a pleasant female voice.
"Thanks." He muttered.
Sleepy eyed and groggy, Richard hung up the phone forcefully. He sat on the edge of the bed feeling the years of work and travel on his back. How many motels and hotels had he frequented? Hundreds? Thousands? Maybe not that many but it felt like it.
For a short while he'd indulged in a pointless hobby to kill time during trips. He would collect some sort of souvenir from every place he stayed at. A matchbook from the bar, a towel or mini shampoo bottle, business cards, sometimes even the little mints they left on the pillows (which he never ate, nasty to his palette). After a while though, it lost its appeal.
Who cares what hotel I've stayed at? He thought. Will I let these trinkets become the summation of my life?
He hoped not, but each passing day drew him closer to the reality that perhaps working for the mason paper company was stealing his life. He was always in an airplane (coach of course), then in a rental car, then in a hotel that resembled the one in the previous city and then on to the client: mostly small businesses that would benefit greatly from the services his company had to offer. Or so he told them.
"And you know," he would say, "We've expanded greatly in our diversification of services. This is the 21st century. We are no longer about paper and office supplies! We offer a full line of state of the art office electronics including computers, fax machines, telephones, copy machines..."
But before he could finish they would usually interrupt and say:
"No thanks. I have one machine that does it all. Goodbye."
Then the door in the face. He was the business worlds' equivalent of a Jehovah's Witness.
Richard barely saw his wife Mona. He knew she loved him with all her heart but he wasn't sure if he still felt the same way about her.
She was loyal though. Every month she would send him a package. It always had a handwritten letter. Additionally it held an array of different possibilities such as photographs, candy, clothes or baked goods. And, she always included a little something special that was different every time. He was due a package anytime now. It was the one thing he liked about his mundane routine.
They didn't speak much when he was out of town. He didn't have a cell phone and rarely used the hotel room or payphones unless it was for business. It was all too costly for his humble earnings. She would have had a hard time tracking him down anyways. He was constantly on the move. Therefore, Mona busied herself and was never home further eliminating any reality of long distance love on any regular basis.

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