I have one picture of Peter, It was snapped when I was nine and he was ten, a week after our uncle died (the timing of that picture is not lost on me). There are other pictures in storage somewhere, but this is the one that I have here with me. I pulled it up on the computer and stared at him, trying to imagine what he looks like now.
It has been a long journey, me working up the courage to hit call after clicking in those numbers, but this was the night I would ignore the crushing grip of anxiety and actually do it.
In that moment, my thoughts cleared enough to realize what I really wanted, "I hope I get voicemail and he is on the recording. I don't know what to say. I just want to hear his voice."
I heard the rattle of a phone being picked up from its cradle.
One second. Two seconds.
No hello. Just the crash of the phone being slammed down in my ear.
It is remarkable how much more final it sounds when someone uses a landline phone to hang up on you.
*The name of my cousin has been changed.