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 The last phone call

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Nyaliva
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PostSubject: The last phone call   Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:45 pm

It was an odd phenomenon when it started.
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PostSubject: Re: The last phone call   Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:34 am

It was an odd phenomenon when it started, but after long enough, people sort of got used to it. Those who haven't experienced it are still terrified, some even refusing to carry a phone. But for those who have, it's just a bittersweet way to say goodbye. I can understand the fear, getting a phone call from people moments before they die, but as soon as you realise you can never do anything, you sort of accept it. Doesn't really seem like a gift or a curse, it's just what happens now.
It's curious but the call always goes to the person who was closest to the deceased. Knowing this, some people have gone so far as to shut everyone out completely so they can never be contacted. I didn't really factor it in myself, my decision was based on entirely separate circumstances.

After Debbie's father left, I spent all my time with her. She was the only daughter I would ever have and I was content with that. I refused to make friends of my own, dedicating my life to Debbie. My shrink said I was afraid of being hurt again, after Debbie's father. Frankly, I always knew he was right, but it never made me want to have friends any more than I did. Debbie made lots of friends at school but I never interacted with any of the other parents. If she had friends over or went to their places, I always just spent my day cleaning or running errands. It was on one of these occasions that it happened. Debbie and her friends were having fun, running through the house and out into the yard to play.
"Debbie! Close the door please!" Debbie walked back to the sliding door and closed it. Something of a ritual we had now; she'd run outside and leave the glass door open, I'd yell for her and she'd come back and close it. I spent most of the rest of the day sipping tea and watching the kids play outside. When it was time for lunch, I prepared some sandwiches and called the kids inside. They happily ate their lunch in silence before heading back to their games. As I was clearing their plates I looked up to see Debbie had left the door open again. Before I could yell to her as usual, she was already out playing. I put the plates down and closed the door myself. I went back to cleaning while the kids played outside. When I had finished I decided to make myself a second cup of tea and watch the kids play again. As I was sipping my tea the phone rang. You never expect it to be them when the call comes. I thought it was one of the kids' mothers, calling for a pickup time. I lifted the receiver and answered as I normally did.
"Hello?"
There was silence on the other end for a moment. I was about to call out again when a young voice finally spoke up.
"Hi mum."
I suddenly froze. I look outside to see Debbie playing on the swings with her friends. I ask, the word choking me as I say it: "Debbie?"
There's another pause before the voice responds again, "Yeah mum."
I wait for her to say what she has to say, they always have something to say. But before I know it, the voice starts crying. I ask what's wrong. The voice replies, "I'm so sorry Mum, you were always telling me to close the door."
I look out to see Debbie running towards the door, not slowing down. Before I know it, there's a crash and Debbie bursts through the glass door, collapsing in a pile in front of it. I drop the phone and rush to her. Her face and clothes are severely cut up and there's blood pouring from each cut. I hold her to me but she's already gone.

There was a funeral service a few days later. Debbie's friends weren't there but all of their parents were. After the service they each came up to me to express their condolences. By the end it almost became monotonous. "I'm so sorry for your loss. If you need anything, call me okay?" I thanked each one and moved on. I spoke to a lady I'd never seen who said she'd lost her only child to an accident as well. She looked at me with remorse and just a little fear before asking. "Did you get a call?" I couldn't bring myself to say yes so I just nodded. She nodded back with an expression of empathy, having experienced the horror I had. She wrote down her number and handed it to me, saying there was a support group for people who had gotten a call. Of all the people to offer me to call, she was the only one to give me their number. I even considered calling a few times, but in the end I just shut myself in as I always had.

One early evening I was sitting in the dark drinking a glass of wine. It had sort of replaced my tea as my relaxing drink. I hadn't done anything to earn it though. Any cleaning I did was half-hearted and the fridge was bare, save for a chinese takeaway box half-full of 3-day old noodles. After a while I decided I needed to get out of the house. I'd only had one drink so I thought I was okay to drive. I picked up my keys and a jacket and headed out.

I drove around town for a bit, doing little more than basking in the street lights as they passed by. I kept my speed steady, I wasn't in a rush to get anywhere. After almost an hour my mobile rang. It gave me a fright but I kept my gaze on the road. I wondered who it could be, considering I didn't know enough people to have my phone number. The only person I ever gave it to was Debbie. I thought it must be a telemarketer so I ignored it for a bit, but it just kept ringing. I picked it up, if only to bring silence once again. Even after everything, I didn't think it would be one of those calls. I guess a part of me knew there was no-one left who would be calling me.
I answered it hesitantly, "Hello?"
There was a pause and then a chuckle. Not malicious nor joyous, but melancholy. The voice was familiar but I couldn't muster the effort to identify who it was. I decided just to ask, "Who is this?"
The voice replied, "I guess it had to have been you." The familiarity was starting to pique my interest.
I asked again, "Who is this?"
There was a short pause before the voice replied, "I'm so sorry, it was all my fault. But you were the only person closest to me."
I suddenly realised the origin of the voice and I froze. It was my own.
"You were so busy talking to me, you didn't even see the other car."
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PostSubject: Re: The last phone call   Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:35 am

I began crossing the street with my only daughter when I received a phone call.
"Don't worry Mummy, I don't blame you."
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