My mom answered on the second ring. I'd been considering what she most needed to hear, so when she said, "Hello," I said:
"Mom, it's James. I'm still here. I'm fine."
There was a brief, choked sob, and then a moment of silence. I said, "Hello?" but nobody answered.
I tried again: "Hello?"
Then I heard my sister's voice: "James?"
I said, "Yes... are you guys all right?"
"Jesus," said Tina, "We thought you were dead, too. Why didn't you call us?"
Something cold and tight curled in from my shoulders and settled in my guts. "I was camping. There's no reception. What do you mean, you thought I was dead, too?"
There was a long pause. Then Tina said, "It's Dad." She hesitated, but I didn't say anything. I couldn't. "There was an accident. The driver beside him disappeared. The car drifted into his lane, pushed him off the road. He's... dead."
You hear that, Anna? I thought. It's not the Rapture. Because if that was the Rapture, your God just murdered my dad.
There was sound of fumbling, and then my mom was speaking into the phone. "James? James, honey? You have to come home. You should be with your family."
"I'm on my way," I told her. "I'll call you when I'm on the road. I love you."
"I love you," said Mom, and cut off the call.
Some Women I Love
4 weeks ago