I ask her about her day.

A nod.

She didn’t hear a word.

I wait.

Her thumb is swiping away.

Email? News?

Nothing important, she says.

But she doesn’t look up.

I tell her about my afternoon.


Did you hear me?

She looks up, asks me what I said.


I pull out my phone.

For a few moments, I manage to forget

That we’re side by side and a thousand worlds away.