No New Notifications

Karen checked her smartwatch as covertly as she could, so as not to interrupt the chatter of the beaming woman in front of her. No new notifications. Hiding her disappointment with a bright smile, she looked up and asked, “And how’s your nephew, Alice? Is he better now?”

Alice grinned. “Oh yes. Yes, he is, Karen. It was just the flu, nothing more. Thanks for the chicken noodle soup recipe; it was great.”

“I’m so glad you liked it. But oh, I see Roxanne over there; I have to talk to her about that license. But hey, have you met Hannah? She’s a writer too. You should connect!” She gently touched the forearm of the lady beside her. “Hannah, this is Alice. She writes too, just like you. You should definitely chat. Now do excuse me.”

Karen nodded politely at the pair and made her way to Roxanne, who waved excitedly her way. “Yes, the license was ready! Thank you very much, Karen. You’ve been so helpful.”

“Wonderful. By the way, have you met Kate? Let me introduce you.” She turned to the side, where a woman stood alone, drink in hand. “Kate, honey, meet Roxanne. We’ve worked together and she’s a wonderful partner. You should talk about your business ideas together.” The two shook hands, and Karen smiled approvingly. “Now excuse me ladies; I see John waving my way from across the room.”

She left them, just as they erupted in laughter over something one of them had said. She stole a look at her watch again, and still no new notifications. Looking up, she nodded familiarly here and there, hugged someone here and there, made small talk here and there as she made her way across the room, towards John.

He was smirking by the time she got to him. “I don’t get why you throw parties like this, Karen,” he said as he gave her a big hug. “Don’t think I don’t see you looking at your watch every 10 seconds.”

Karen blushed. “You know how important your brother is to me. I was hoping…”

John looked away. “Sorry, Karen. I hate to break it to you, but he won’t be contacting you anymore.”

She turned to him, alarmed. “What? Why?”

He looked straight into her eyes. “It finally happened.”

Karen looked up at him, terrified, but he merely nodded. She put a hand on her chest, and a slow tear fell from eyes, sparkling in the bright lights of the room. She wiped it away gently, then smiled his way. “Thank you for letting me know, John. Now if you’ll excuse me…”

She quickly turned away and called, “Ben! Aria! I didn’t think I’d see you two here!” And she moved towards the two, tears threatening to fall from her eyes as she stole another look at her watch. No new notifications. She looked up, smiling at her guests.

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First written May 1, 2018.


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