The shrill sound broke the silence of the night, jerking her out of her sleep. The hazy sleep fog was quickly banished, replaced by a pounding heartbeat. A phone call at this time of the night does not bode well. Throwing back the warm covers she gets out of bed, slipping her feet automatically into the slippers she has next to her bed. She moves quickly towards the ringing telephone.
Her voice is uncertain and hesitant. She does not want to know the news that seeks her at the other end of the line.
“Mel? It’s Francis…”
“Tell me Francis. What is it?”
“It’s mom. She’s …”
Melanie closes her eyes, bracing herself for the next words. A picture flashes in her mind of Avery Langley, a blonde-haired woman in her early sixties who always has a kind word for everyone.
“She’s been in an accident Mel – and it is bad. The hospital phoned because my number was the only one on her phone. I had put it in, remember. I told her to put in everyone’s. I even showed her how, Mel. They say she is bad. She is unconscious and is bleeding internally. She needs surgery. We need to sign papers. Mel, I don’t know what to do.”
“I’ll meet you there Francis. Twenty minutes tops. We’ll be there for her like she has always been there for us. She can survive this, I know she can. Is she at Union hospital?”
“I will meet you there. I am getting dressed now and will be there as quickly as I can.”
Hand shaking, Melanie puts the phone down. Closing her eyes briefly, she takes a deep breath. Mom, our steady rock. Now it is our turn. Time to move quickly.
Shedding her pyjamas, Melanie grabs the jeans and sweater hanging neatly over the back of her chair. Changing quickly, she moves through her space while picking up her purse and car keys. Her mom needed her – and so did her younger sister Francis.
Phone calls at midnight never brought good news.
(This post was inspired by the titles suggested by Kellie Elmore for this week’s FWF)
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013