Cheryl Ann

by Phyllis Rittner

Eighteen months had passed since your 3am manic rambling on my voicemail, the day I ended our ten-year friendship. Carrying out my recycling, a newspaper photo slipped onto my kitchen floor. There you were, your dyed black hair blown out, your makeup perfect. You were wearing the amethyst choker I bought you for your birthday. As I reread the obit, now two weeks old, I knew the word suddenly meant I wasn’t there to stop you. And as you smiled back at me, I shouted your name, your real one, the one you had confessed to only me.


Phyllis Rittner is a writer and mental health advocate from Watertown, Massachusetts. Her work can be found in HerStry, NAMI.org, Thisismybrave.org and Friday Flash Fiction. She is a Grub Street Free Press Fiction Contest winner and a member of The Charles River Writer’s Collective.