The Call at Midnight|
We all know what it's like to get that phone call in the middle of
the night. This night's call was no different. Jerking up to the
ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my
clock. Midnight. Panicky thoughts filled my sleep-dazed mind as I
grabbed the receiver.
My heart pounded, I gripped the phone tighter and eyed my husband,
who was now turning to face my side of the bed.
"Mama?" I could hardly hear the whisper over the static. But my
thoughts immediately went to my daughter. When the desperate sound of
a young crying voice became clearer on the line, I grabbed for my husband and squeezed his wrist.
"Mama, I know it's late. But don't...don't say anything, until I
finish. And before you ask, yes, I've been drinking. I nearly ran off
the road a few miles back and..."
I drew in a sharp shallow breath, released my husband and pressed my
hand against my forehead. Sleep still fogged my mind, and I attempted
to fight back the panic. Something wasn't right.
"And I got so scared. All I could think about was how it would hurt
you if a policeman came to your door and said I'd been killed. I
want...to come home. I know running away was wrong. I know you've
been worried sick. I should have called you days ago, but I was afraid...afraid..."
Sobs of deep-felt emotion flowed from the receiver and poured into my
heart. Immediately I pictured my daughter's face in my mind and my
fogged senses seemed to clear. "I think -"
"No! Please let me finish! Please!" She pleaded, not so much in anger, but in desperation.
I paused and tried to think what to say. Before I could go on, she
continued. "I'm pregnant, Mama. I know I shouldn't be drinking
now...especially now, but I'm scared, Mama. So scared!"
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