Fiction: The Call



An unknown number rang his phone. Irritated at being disturbed, he ignored it. Two emails and a quick chat with a colleague later, it rang again, buzzing across the table. Annoyed, he answered.

A distant and slightly sad voice told him of an accident. It was his wife. Yes it was serious. He had better hurry. No, there may not be a lot of time.

When he arrived he was gently guided through a numbing maze of corridors. Bright fluorescent light gave the impression of unearthliness; of sterility; of non-humanness.

Then, there she was. All tubes and artificial breathing she lay broken. The unbelief that had been growing turned to a churning fear. He was told it might not be long. Someone pulled up a chair for him and he sat down.

Somewhere in the night he grew tired. He had been fighting it for hours. He knew he had to keep vigil. He pushed back the heavy eyes and heavy heart. Hoping. Just hoping they were wrong.

Succumbing he rested his head on her lap and closed his eyes.

And slept.

In his dream he was across the table from her.

That night they met at a mutual friend’s dinner party. Bright candles flickered in her eyes as she talked. A connection was made. The world slipped away and it was just the two of them. They didn’t noticed the awkward glances and coughs of the others.

Later that night they held hands and kissed.

He remembered laughing together the day she brought her things to his house. The joy at consolidating lives. The joining together of two once lost souls. They hadn’t known they were lost till they had met each other.

Now they became one.

He dreamed of that day, early in their knowing each other. A picnic on the hill. The fields of mustard in neat squares below them grouped by neat hedges. A breeze played with the tall grass and pulled at her hair. The afternoon gold of autumn kissed their features. She held his hand. Rested her head on him. He knew he was in love.

And in the dream she joined him.

She turned and smiled. Whispered “I love you.”

With the next breeze she was gone. He was alone on a windswept hill watching distant blades of grass move and turn.

He was woken by a kindly nurse moving him gently out of the way. A loosely organised chaos had enveloped his wife. Noise and panic, a rush of people, a persistent mechanical shrill of alarm.

And he went home. He knew she was no longer there.

Photo by _chance_

  • jrronimo