Electron kicked electron and got kicked back. Light traveled barely impeded through glass tubes. The conversation was established.
"We should meet," said the male voice.
"You know I can't," said the female voice.
"I have to see you."
"You can wait."
"At least tell me where you are."
"I can't. You know that. I've told you before."
"Why? Why don't you want to see me?"
"You ask too many questions. I have to go."
"Wait, wait! Don't go. Not yet."
There was staticky silence on the other end. Finally, "I have things to do," she said.
"I know, but we need to talk about the future."
"There's no future for us."
"It's not to late to change your mind."
"No, it is. But I don't think we ever had a chance."
"I think we do. You keep answering."
"You keep calling."
"There's still time for you to change your life."
"I can't change who I am."
"You're not who you think you are. You have a soft side, you know."
"I'm hanging up."
"No you're not."
"You're right, I'm not. I must be..."
"You must be what?" There was another long span of almost silence. He could hear her drawing on a cigarette.
"Goodbye Garry." There was a click.
Garry turned to the others in the room. It was a shabby hotel room, with decaying red velvet curtains, a faded, crushed and worn down carpet, and two queen beds he would never risk sleeping in. There were five other men in the room, other police detectives and analysts.
"Did you have enough time?" Garry asked one of the analysts.
"Yeah but..." said the analyst, vibrating his leg nervously.
"But what?" asked Garry. He was hoping it wasn't enough time to trace the call. He wanted to keep talking to her. He was addicted to her, to the pursuit of her. Maybe if he actually met her, had to interrogate her, had to see her go to prison, had to see her stand up in court, and had to see her in the execution chamber, strapped to a stretcher, ready for lethal injection, it would be sad for both of them. But this way, while she still ran, she was in some way, still his.
"I don't know how to tell you this," said the analyst, "but, uh, the call came from inside this room."
"Can't be!" exclaimed one of the other detectives. "You've obviously messed up something."
"No, I'm certain. It's the same phone number that Gary was using."
"It's impossible," bickered another analyst. "You don't know what you're doing."
"It doesn't matter," said Gary. "She outsmarted us. She always outsmarts us. It's just smoke and mirrors." Then he smelled a faint lingering whiff of cigarettes. He smiled.