Evelyn’s day was a busy one and now she was ready to sit down, kick her feet up, and call Fran and Jack. If the last time they talked a week ago was any indication, their weekly phone conversations would soon end. After six rings, the phone was finally picked up.
“Hello,” Fran breathed.
“Hey sweetie. I just wanted to let you know I love you.”
“Love you too,” she managed to get out before pausing, trying to catch her breath. “Evie, Jack’s in the bathroom so I have to make this quick.”
“Okay sweetie.” What could Fran need to hide from her husband?
“I need you to watch over Jack for me when I’m gone. Help him with his grief.”
“Of course. You don’t even need to ask.”
“You just went through it, so I figured…”
“I know, sweetie.”
“You’re the only one I can ask. You’re so much like your twin, and Ethan is one of the few people my dear husband trusts.”
“He’ll be just fine. We’ll make sure of it!”
“Promise me,” Fran choked out through tears.
“Thank you. I love you, Evie. Here’s Jack.”
She could hear her friend’s labored breathing. “Love you too, Fran.”
A moment later, Jack came on the line. “Hey Evelyn.”
“Hi Jack. She’s not doing well, is she?”
“No. It’s close,” he murmured.
“How are you doing?” She heard a sigh and some deep breathing before he answered.
“I’m fine. Right now I’m just trying to be strong for her.”
“You’re a good man, Jack.”
“No,” he insisted. “I’m just a man who loves his wife. I hate this but she’ll be going into the hospital Monday. We can’t do it here anymore.”
“I’m sorry.” Evelyn felt like someone had just reached out and torn her heart right from her chest for the second time in just under six months.
Jack cleared his throat loudly. “Enough about me. How did the grand re-opening of Movie and a Pizza Place go? I bet you’re relieved that renovations are complete.”
“Everything is perfect. Cole would be so proud of his business. But I think I’m about ready to retire.”
“Retire? You’re too young to retire.”
Evelyn laughed. “You sure know how to flatter a girl. But I’m just tired. I want to have some fun.”
“I don’t blame you there!” He suddenly heard Evelyn screech and her sons laughing in the background.
“Boy, you do that again and I’ll scratch your eyes out.”
Jack laughed at the goings on at his friend’s house. It made him miss his oldest son Ethan, who was away in the Navy.
“I’m sorry Jack. My boys are acting like ten-year-old children.”
“That’s okay,” he chuckled. “There for a minute I thought there was a wild kitty cat loose at your house.”
“Yeah, sorry about that screech”
“No worries here. It’s good to hear you happy again.”
“I’m getting there, Jack. I truly am. Could you give Fran a hug and a kiss for me?”
“I will. I’ll talk to you soon.”
The line went silent and Evelyn put the phone away. With her friend going into the hospital she knew there would be no more weekly phone calls. Fran had been her pen pal for over fifty years and it was now time to write the final letter.