Distressed – Fiction Snippet

Keith made it to almost noon before the need to get out and do something overtook him. He made the calls, he paced around the bedroom, he made some more calls. Everything was ready, all the ducks in a row, and there was literally nothing else he could do except wait for the deal to go through… but he wanted to get out, to do something.

He snatched the phone up from the nightstand for what felt like the hundredth time that morning and pressed the speed-dial for the realtor. His other hand was thumping a rapid rhythm on his thigh, and a cold sweat had broken out on his brow. He noticed neither of those things. All that mattered right now was going back to the house. He couldn’t say why, or what he intended to do – it wasn’t his, yet, and he couldn’t exactly start moving stuff in or rearranging anything in any significant way – but part of him knew he just had to go back.

“Keith! Forget something?”

The realtor’s voice was full of the mock cheer that people in his profession were known for, but Keith didn’t hold it against him. Given the number of calls Keith had already placed to the number, he was honestly surprised the man wasn’t more hostile, answering the phone with “What now, idiot?” or something similar.

“Not really, but was hoping I could ask for one more favor.”

“Sure thing, man. Whaddaya need?”

Keith swallowed, the sound probably quite audible over the line. A loud click came from somewhere in the back of his throat, as though he was dying of thirst. A part of him was thirsty, but not for water.

“Was hoping maybe I could take another look inside. Get some measurements, take some more photos. You know, for the wife. She’s a little antsy about things.”

The realtor laughed, and it didn’t sound forced at all. “I understand, I understand. Say no more. I can meet you there in… twenty minutes?”

Keith nodded, then realized the other man couldn’t see him. “Yes. Perfect. I’ll be there”

“Alright. Sounds good, then. See you in a few!”

The realtor disconnected, and Keith set the phone back down. He wasn’t drumming on his thigh anymore, and the sweat had faded from his brow. He felt at ease. He’d be back in the house in just a few minutes.

Somehow that idea made everything seem alright, and all other concerns seem unimportant in his mind.

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