This post is my attempt at fiction, written for the following prompt from The Red Dress Club…
“In the middle of the night, you (“you” being the character in my story) get an urgent call from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. Something terrible has happened. What is it and why is he/she calling you?”
The sharp din of the phone jolted me out of the depths of my sleep. My heart started to beat out of my chest, knowing the phone never rings at this time. Why would it? Hopefully a wrong number.
The big, red alarm clock numbers were like lasers, showing me 2:22 a.m. “Make a wish,” I thought.
When I didn’t feel Alex next to me I remembered he was out of town for a few days, again. I shook off the feeling of being dead asleep, scrambling out of the bed and running to answer it.
The kitchen was dark; all I could see was the light from the microwave time and the orange screen of the phone. I’d searched the nightstand with my finger tips for my glasses with no luck, and the tiny, blurry lights were all I had to guide me. I didn’t want the loud ringing to wake the children. The baby had just gone back down a little bit ago…
Somehow I found the talk button.
It was a woman’s voice – somewhat familiar.
“Amy, it’s Maggie. Maggie Jensen. Remember?” Her few words were shaky.
“Well of course I remember you Maggie, what in the world are you doing calling me at this hour though?”
“Amy, there’s…. there’s been an accident….”
I couldn’t fathom what this had to do with me. My heart continued to race as her words registered. My last memory of Maggie was from my ten year reunion about six months ago. We sat together at the Saturday night dinner/dance laughing about Michael Harris’ bald spot and how we used to think he was the hottest boy in the world. Afterward Alex and I went for drinks with her and her boyfriend, Carl, I think…
She brought me out of my thoughts as she continued.
“… we were driving down Rockford highway and Alex didn’t see….”
Wait. Did she just say Alex?
What the hell does she know about Alex?
“What did you just say?!?! Something about Alex. My Alex?”
“Yes Amy. You just need to come to the hospital. Can you get a neighbor to stay with the kids?”
Did she just say ‘WE were driving’?
“I…. I… “
I couldn’t catch my breath like I was being strangled by some unknown thing. I faintly heard the baby cry out again as I slumped to the floor, like a sack of potatoes, no longer in control of my own body.
I lay there facing the phone on the cold tile next to me and all I could hear were the baby’s cries and her, that woman, saying my name over and over in her panic-stricken voice.
“Amy, AMY, AMY!?!”…
Everything went black.