Phone Call from Heaven
The sound of my phone ringing blared in my ear. My eyes flitted open, and I glanced over at the beaming red numbers on my alarm clock that read “3:00 a.m.” My heart instantly skipped a beat. Everyone knows that there are only a few reasons why someone would be calling at such an early hour. And it’s never to share what they had for lunch that day. I shakily reached over to grab the phone off the night stand. As I looked at the screen, my breath hitched in my throat.
“What the hell?” I rasped out, as the picture of her stare at me from my phone screen. The picture I had saved for when she would call me, which was our daily routine, to talk every morning on the phone, coffee in hand, and nicotine ready. We would sit for hours talking about anything, and everything and nothing, all at the same time. But all of that stopped months ago when she took her own life and left me here alone. And yet, here I was staring at my phone as it rang and rang and rang, with her picture, her smiling face staring back at me.
“I must be dreaming” I spoke out loud. “This can’t be real” I thought to myself. I stare blankley down at the phone as it continued to ring, with her ring tone blaring out the sister tone I had sat for her, the song I had wished to hear for months now, but had abruptly stopped one day. My heart filled with panic and fear as my mind pushed me to answer the phone. Scared that the next ring would be its last, what If she’s not really gone. What if she’s calling me to tell me she had perfectly planned her own death, only to move to some far away island where nobody would ever be able to find her again? What if she needs my help?
My finger hesitantly swiped across the “Answer Call” button, as I thought briefly that I must be going crazy.
“Hello?” my voice breathlessly scratched out, nothing but static greeted me from the other end. Grief welled up from my stomach and gradually made its way to my throat. It felt as if a thousand needles were piercing my heart at the same time. I was stupid to think this was real; it was juvenile for me not to realize this must have been a dream. All of the pain I felt the day I got the news of her departure hit me again, like I had just ran full force into a brick wall.
“How could I be so stupid” I cried out, while still holding the phone to my ear. The sound of static greeted me again, from the other end, and as I began pulling the phone from my ear, tears streaking my face. I heard it, a pause within the chaos of static, and her voice loud and raspy, just as I remembered it.
“I’m so sorry” she spoke out. “I never meant for this to hurt any of you.” My sweet sister said from beneath the static. My whole body became numb as I held my phone out, my finger hovering over the “End Call” button. Pain filled tears fell faster now, hitting my shirt and making it wet.
Between the tears, I asked her “Why?” It is all the words my lips could form. A silence took over the phone as I gradually brought the phone back to my awaiting ear. I needed to hear her better. I yearned to be closer to her. I needed her to answer that one question, to make me understand.
“I love you, and miss you all” she replied in response. I wiped my shaky hands across my face, and blinked out into the darkness. I had wished for a day when I would get to talk to my sister again. I had thought about it many times since her funeral. I pictured us sitting together in a field of lilies, the sun warming our faces, after my life had come to an end, us catching up, like we hadn’t even missed a single second with each other. This, THIS is not what I had expected. Fear struck my heart as I thought for an instant, that If I was speaking to her now, maybe I was dead too.
“OH my GOD, I’m dead, aren’t I?” I croaked out. That’s when I heard it. Her boistress laugh I had missed so much, the laugh that could brighten up a room in a single second. It was long and loud and it carried over the static that still instilled itself over the phone.
“Dude, you’re not dead” she laughed out “You’ve still got a long life ahead of you.” She said seriously. “I want you to know how proud I am of you. And I promise you will see me again.” Confusion took a hold of me then, my mind trying to find some kind of foot hold, trying to make sense of this.
“Well, then, where are you, what’s going on?” I managed to say. My mind had somehow been put to ease, with the sound of her laughter. Now able to form a full sentence, I waited anxiously for her response.
“Remember, Storm” her voice spoke out. “I’ll always love you tomorrow.” The finality in her voice stung my heart, as my mind took hold of what she had just said and knew that this conversation was truly her. It was her calling me from beyond, it was her way of letting me know she was alright. At that moment, my body felt lighter, it felt stronger than it had in 6 months. I felt happier, knowing that somehow she was ok. And even though she was no longer physically here with me, that she would never truly leave my side.
“I love you too, sis.” I spoke out, feeling the sting of warm tears fall down my cheeks again; I am not sure how long I had been crying. But these tears felt different. They felt lighter, a little less sad and a little happier. I held the phone tightly in my hand as I said “I’ll love you tomorrow.”
I listen as the static slowly faded away on the other end to nothing but silence. I pulled the phone that had been pressed against my ear away, and stare down at the screen. Her picture, lit up by the backlight, smiled back at me with the words “Call Ended” displayed at the bottom.