Hey, Siri

Chloe snapped her seat belt and started her car. “Hey, Siri, send text message to Sam.”

What do you want to say?” the robotic voice asked.

“Have you boarded yet?”

Message sent.

As she backed out of her driveway, her phone chimed, letting her know he’d answered. “Hey, Siri, read last text.”

I found your latest message from Sam . . . Boarding now, will text you when I land. See you soon . . . Would you like to reply?

“No.” In less than two hours, she’d be picking him up from the airport. This living in different states was hard, but they were making it work. They’d been taking turns flying out to see each other, and though it was her turn to go there, he’d insisted on coming here for Valentine’s Day, saying he had a surprise for her. She smiled at the thought, then cranked her music and settled in for the drive.

As she made her way into the city an hour later, she merged from the highway to the Interstate and was cut-off by a semi. Her car skidded onto the shoulder, spun around, then dropped into the ditch.

She sat in a daze, staring at the smoke rising from the hood. After a moment, she blinked and glanced around. The semi was nowhere to be seen. She smacked the steering wheel over and over. “God dammit son of a bitch!” The jerk had run her clear off the road and hadn’t even bothered to stop.

She reached for her phone, but her hands were shaking too bad to pick it up. “Hey, Siri, send text message to Sam.”

What do you want to say?

“I had a small accident, calling for a tow, will be there as soon as I can.”

Message sent.

She leaned her head back against the seat and took a couple deep breaths. “Hey, Siri, call nearest towing company.”

Silence.

She tried again with the same result. Now that her hands were steadier, she picked up her phone, intending to search for a tow truck. The screen stayed black when she pushed the home button. She tried the side button, then finally tried turning it off, but nothing changed. Just a black screen.

What the hell? It worked a minute ago.

As a last-ditch effort, she tried one more time. “Hey, Siri, send text message to Sam.”

What do you want to say?

Her breath caught, it worked! “Call me as soon as you get this.”

Message sent.

Maybe asking to locate and call a towing company was too ambiguous, so she switched tactics. “Hey, Siri, call 911.”

Total silence.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” she muttered. Grabbing her phone, she yanked her door open and got out to see the damage. The front corner was smashed in so far that the hood was bent upward at a weird angle and part of the motor was visible. Part of the smoking motor.

That can’t be good.

She glanced at her phone, intending to call for help, but the screen was still black. From where she stood in the ditch, she could hear the traffic on the freeway, but couldn’t see anything. With no other choice, she got busy climbing the steep embankment.

When she reached the top, she stood back a little, right on the edge of the gravel, and waved her arms at the vehicles speeding by.

Not even one of them slowed down.

A wave of heated anger washed over her. Was chivalry dead? Where were all the good Samaritans?

Overhead, a plane flew low as it approached the airport.

Maybe it was Sam’s.

“Hey, Siri, send text message to Sam.”

What do you want to say?

Her throat tightened as she spoke. “Sam, it’s me. I’m stuck on the side of the road and my phone is wacked. It’s not letting me make any calls.”

Message sent.

She cleared her throat and swallowed hard. Damn, she wished she had a drink of water. “Hey, Siri, send text message to Sam.”

What do you want to say?

“I’m on the southbound side of the Interstate, I can see the airport exit sign from where I’m at. Please call 911 for me, then get an Uber or something.”

Message sent.

Chloe glanced at the phone in her hand, but the screen remained black. She stuffed the useless thing in her pocket and waved her arms over her head at the steady stream of traffic passing her by.

After a few more minutes and still no one had stopped, she decided to hike back down to her car for her water bottle. She’d taken her first steps down the embankment when her phone chimed.

Sam!

When she pulled it out of her pocket to find the screen still dark, she was barely phased.

“Hey, Siri, read last text.”

I found your latest message from Sam . . . Stay where you are Chloe, I called for an ambulance. Help is on the way. I grabbed a cab and I’ll be there as fast as I can . . . Would you like to reply?

Before she could answer, her damaged phone chimed again.

“Hey, Siri, read last text.”

I found your latest message from Sam . . . I love you, baby . . . Would you like to reply?

“Yes.” She sat down in the dirt.

What do you want to say?

Her body trembled in relief. “I love you, too, Sam. Please hurry.”

Message sent.

Within minutes, she heard the wail of sirens and scrambled to her feet.

Her stomach dropped when the ambulance drove right by, despite her waving like crazy. She kicked the dirt and was about to let out a string of cuss words, when the emergency vehicle slowed down, then pulled over by the airport exit sign.

The reverse lights came on and the ambulance backed up on the shoulder, finally stopping by the skid marks from her car.

Two men jumped out and took off running down into the ditch, yelling her name.

“I’m right here!” She ran after the paramedics, beyond thrilled to see them, even as she called them idiots under her breath.

Just then another car stopped and she turned to see a bright yellow cab.

Her heart leapt as she changed direction, wanting nothing more than to be safe in Sam’s arms. A broad smile curved her lips when he opened the back door and got out. She ran toward him, but he turned away, scanning the roadside, then looking at his phone.

“Sam!” Another semi whizzed by and she yelled louder to be heard over the noise. “Sam! I’m here!”

He still didn’t see her, but looked down and tapped on his phone instead.

A few more seconds and she was in front of him. “Sam?”

From behind her, a man yelled and Sam took off running.

What—

Her phone chimed.

She ignored it and ran after Sam. “Wait!”

He half stumbled, half slid down the steep slope where her car was, screaming her name as he went.

Chloe chased him until her car came into view.

The paramedics were prying the door open and calling her name.

As the vehicle jostled, a mass of matted and bloody hair lolled against the window.

She froze.

Her phone chimed again.

Sam crumpled to the ground beside the car, his head in his hands.

She glanced from him, to her phone, then said in a tight voice, “Hey, Siri, read last text.”

I found your latest message from Sam . . . Baby, where are you? I’m here . . . Would you like to reply?

“Yes,” she muttered, even as she stared at her wrecked car and the love of her life sobbing on the ground next to it.

What do you want to say?

“I’m here, too, Sam. I’m right here.”

Message sent.

She watched in awe as he jumped when his phone chimed.

He glanced at the screen, then looked around in disbelief before reading the message. “Chloe?”

“I’m here, Sam,” she whispered. The pain and grief on his face broke her heart as realization dawned.

She gripped her phone a little tighter. “Hey, Siri . . .”

9 Replies to “Hey, Siri”

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