The Phone Call
In which a bereaved man receives a very
unexpected phone call.
The graveyard was silent, as it always was on a Sunday evening. The rain came down – as it had been doing all day. Yet, I still had to go. I could not go, for if I had
mind [ not that she isn’t anyway}. It is just that I would not have been able to settle for
the rest of the day.
You see, since her death a month or so ago, I have simply been lost without her. The feeling of loss and despair is overwhelming sometimes, and can get too much for
me to bare. Church does not help me…well it does in a way, as I can sit and think.
But, don’t I do that now? Yes, all the time in the world to sit and think…
So, putting on my cap and fastening my coat up to my neck, I make my way out. This is not before I check to make sure everything in the house is secure. Can’t leave the house without doing that, Mabel wouldn’t have stood for it. Yes, a lifetime’s habit, but old habits die…hard.
Taking one last look around I sigh. The house seems so big and so empty now. The lamp in the hallway I have kept on, just to give the place a little light, not too much
but just enough to welcome me back home again.
Tears sting my eyes. The memories are too much to bare. The coffin carried by the pall-bearers. The glimpse of that scene plays over and over again within my mind. Carrying my beloved out of the house, the house that we had made into a home, for
the last time. Why does death need to be so…so?
I bow my head and close the door. Making sure my mobile phone is switched on. You see, I thought I would buy myself a mobile phone, you know, just to keep in touch
with…people. Hahah. No one ever rings me though. But sometimes I just dial random numbers, just to hear another human voice. I am very lonely…
The taxi came to pick me up. The driver was good enough to stop for a moment while I purchased some flowers for my beloved. You see, she loved violets. Yes,
they were my favorites too. Such beautiful flowers. I even got them free too. The lady
lady was very kind. She knew I was making my way to the cemetary.
‘Here, take these. I am sure your wife would love them.’
‘Are you sure? I mean, I don’t mind paying?’ I whispered.
She placed a hand on my shoulder, ‘Look, there is no one in the shop, only you and me. Take them, go on. There are four bunches there,’ she smiled, as she saw a tear fall from my eye.
I nodded my head. ‘Thank you Miss. Thank you so much. God bless you.’ Making my
way out into the pouring rain with the flowers secure, within a carrier bag, I entered the taxi. And once again, I was on my way.
The journey took just over an hour. With it being Sunday evening, there was less traffic on the road. I gazed out of the window, and looked…at nothing. Just the rain
drops falling down the glass. It was as if they were in a race, to reach the bottom of the pane, much like life, really. People always rushing here and there with never a
moment for those who just want to sit and talk.
Memories came flooding back within that taxi. Gazing out of the window, my eyes closed upon seeing her there. The hospital was terrible. Her care was uncaring. I
did what I could do, but being by myself…well you know what it’s like? She didn’t
deserve to die like that… like some …animal.
Anger? Oh yes, I know all about anger. And bitterness. Yet those things have stopped me living since her death. They have chewed me up and spat me out. And
now all I see is my beloved wife…oh, my wife…
Placing my hand across my face, I bow my head. Not wishing the driver to see
me in such a state. But, see me he does.
‘Hey mate, we are at the cemetary now.’
‘Oh, I am sorry. I was miles away. Please, how much?’ Placing my hand in my pocket I pulled out some change.
‘No mate. This is on me. Go on, they for your wife? I take it she was your wife?’ He nodded toward the flowers on the seat next to me.
‘Yes. Yes. My wife…’
‘My friend, I will keep her in my prayers, and you. You know, the dead are dead my friend. They know nothing. They know nothing of the grief they leave behind. It’s the
living I feel sorry for. For they have lost everything. Listen, I haven’t got much on today so I will wait for you. You know…drive you back?’
You know, drive you back?’ He raised an eyebrow, waiting for my reply.
‘You are very kind. That would be a blessing indeed. It is so hard to get a taxi – especially on Sunday evening. You are very kind.’
‘No problem mate. Don’t mind me asking, but, what was your wife’s name?’
I smiled. ‘Mabel. Her name was Mabel. She was…my…my life.’ Stammering, barely able to get the words out. ‘Mabel Fletcher. I must go to her. You will wait for me?’
‘No fear my friend. I will wait. Be careful out there, as it is so wet and windy. Terrible
‘I will, and thank you again.’ Closing the door behind me I made my way toward the cemetary gates. I hated coming here. It was so desolate. So empty. So…final. The
pathway seemed to get longer the more I walked it. Not a soul in sight did I see, on
the way to the grave. As the wind howled all around me. Yet make it to the grave I did.
There it was. Just a lump of stone now, where once she had been flesh and blood. Where once we had loved, laughed cried. My knees buckled. Feeling myself give
in to overwhelming grief. Deep sobs came from my very being, as I dropped the
flowers upon the wet grass.
Crying and not being able to stop. Do you know what that is like? It is like nothing you have ever experienced before. It is like such deep deep despair. At that moment, I
can honestly say that I did not want to live anymore. Life, held nothing for me now.
Look at this man, on his knees, in the wind and the rain. No one around but me, and my desolation. Yet the ringing of the phone brought me to my senses, suddenly realizing that it was my mobile rining. Who could be getting in touch with me? I klnow nobody. I have no family now?
Puzzled, I reached for my phone and looked at the number. The number was familiar. I answered, in a shaking voice. ‘H…hello? W…ho is this please?’
‘Albert…Albert it’s me. Why take on so? Oh, you foolish man. You foolish foolish man. Why take on so? Why take on so?’
‘Who is this please? Please tell me?’ I began to shake. The voice too, was familiar.
‘Albert, what do you mean, who is this? This is your wife…MABEL!’
It couldn’t be. This was impossible. I gazed at the grave and then back at the phone. ‘MABEL…!?’
‘I am ringing to tell you Albert that you must get on with your life now. Please, you are
upsetting me and I cannot move on. I am so worried about you. I love you dearly, my
dear. Please go on. Live the rest of your life. We will be together again, one day. It was my time, Albert. It was simply my time. I love you so much. Goodbye my dear.
Live your life…live your life, live your life…’
Her voice became distant, like she was in some sort of tunnel
‘MABEL!’ I screamed. ‘MABEL OH MABEL, COME BACK TO ME! MABEL! MABEL!’ But she was gone. The phone, how ironic, was dead. There was no reception coming through.
Oh, how I cried, but this time, I cried tears of joy. My Mabel was fine. She was still alive, somewhere. And she was watching me. Watching over me.
Placing the flowers upon her grave I smiled, still crying, but they were tears of joy.
I made my way back to the taxi. And we went home. And you know, I know in
my heart that I did not imagine that call. She did call, from the other side. Just to let
me know, she still loved me and wanted me to live again.
One more thing. I never did get rid of that mobile phone. Now, I wonder why that is? I live my life now. The house is bright. There are flowers in the living room where there were none before, violets of course. Oh, and I have made some smashing friends too.
Oh, yes, before I forget. You know, I am seeing that lady from the flower shop. Yes, we have had tea together too. We will not marry, for I feel that would be a betrayal to my wife. But we are friends and it is company for the both of us. And the phone? Well that phone is hidden, that phone was my connection to Mabel. Well, one must live their life. But Mabel will always be a part of me, truly.
Wayne Leon Learmond
The Phone Call
All Rights Reserved
A simple phone call can have long-reaching effects