A Short Story: The Call
Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Alice was startled when her mobile rang in the middle of the night. She did not recognize the number but something inside told her to pick up. At first, all she heard was static. Soon though, she heard a familiar, unmistakable voice. The caller told her how much she was missed. Tears streamed down her face when she realized it was the voice of her dad who had passed away two years before. He told her how happy he was and how much better he felt. He no longer forgot things, places, or people. He apologized for leaving so quickly and not waiting for her. He explained that he wanted to spare her, her mother, and her brother from the pain and anguish of watching him take his last breath.
She sat motionless and just listened because she didn’t know what to say. He went on to say how he was worried about her and that it was okay for her to be sad but that he wanted her to grieve and then be done with it. All of a sudden, she was riding in a car with her dad driving. He looked like her dad but a healthier, younger version, how he looked when she was a child. Not at all frail and small like the day he passed. He began telling her about being reunited with his parents and sisters; about seeing Johnny, Elvis, and Hank perform; and how he felt useful again, because, in his Heaven, people brought him things to fix, just like they had on Earth.
He said one day she’d understand and they’d see each other again. She pleaded with him to let her stay but he explained she could not. It wasn’t the right time and “it didn’t work that way." “Right now,” he explained, “you have to raise my granddaughter and you and your brother have to look after your momma”. “Don’t cry, baby doll," he said, “Time doesn’t exist up here so when I see you again, it will just be a blink and we’ll pick back up where we left off.”
In a flash, she was back in her bed with her husband and dog both sleeping soundly next to her. Was it all a dream? As she rolled over to go back to sleep, she felt something she hadn’t felt in two years—peace and calm that her dad was in a better place. Alice smiled as she thought of how good her heart always felt when she made her dad proud. “Are you proud of me, Dad?”, she whispered. She heard his answer, not in her head, but in her heart, “More than ever, sweetheart” and she knew it was not a dream. The next morning, she checked her phone and saw the unknown number in her recent calls log. She smiled and blew a kiss to the sky.