The last call.
By: Billy Winningham.
It was almost 10 and they were still out. Frank had stayed home to finish working on a presentation for work tomorrow. He was getting that promotion no matter what. No more asking his dad for money or his wife, Mary, having to work two shifts at the hospital. And then, he might be able to buy Jack a car so that he wouldn’t have to drive him around town anymore. Chester, the family cat, came and jumped on his desk again. “Get off, you stupid cat,” Frank mumbled, pushing the cat away. About three years ago, Frank went to the dump to drop some stuff off and on his way back home, he heard some purring in the backseat. He couldn’t just stop and ...view middle of the document...
Frank got to work just on time. When he walked in, he heard some people talking about a huge car crash, but he brushed it off and went straight to his office. He was about to call Mary again, but his boss walked in. Maybe after the meeting, he thought. The meeting was a success and Frank got promoted, just as he had hoped. This could be the best day of his life, if only he could talk to his family. He called Mary one more time, but no answer. He didn’t have the money to buy Jack a phone and his father, Rob couldn’t ever figure out how to use one. “People got along just fine for thousands of years without them, I think I’ll do fine,” he always said. He would just have to find out when he got home.
Frank practically sprinted home after work. The car was in the front yard, they were home. He rushed inside and went to find Mary. From the moment he and Mary had met, they knew they were meant for each other. They were high school sweethearts and moved in together during college. When they had their first son, Jack, they thought they were on the top of the world. Soon after, they started running out of money. They had to move out of their old apartment and in with his father. Lately, they had been fighting more than usual and she had threatened to leave Frank for good. When she was gone all night, he thought she had come through on her promise. But she was back now, and that was all that mattered. He searched every inch of the house and couldn’t find anyone anywhere. Frank was overcome with grief. He turned the corner in the kitchen, fell and busted his head on the corner.
Around three hours later, Frank woke up. His leg was throbbing. When he was younger, his alcoholic father used to beat him after he got home from work. He had a couple surgeries, but the pain never seemed to go away. That was about the only thing his dad had ever given him. He popped a couple more pills and heard the television on and took off into the living room. He saw all of them sitting in on the couch.
“Where in the world have you guys been?” yelled Frank. No one said a word. Was he dreaming? “I got the promotion today.” They were all talking to each other and ignored Frank’s existence. He decided to go back to the study and work on his new job. He picked up the paper, lit a cigar and read the newspaper like he did every night. Chester came in and jumped on his lap. Frank pushed him off again and Chester hissed and went back into the den. “Family of 3 killed in car crash”, he ignored the main headline, and there were probably better stories inside. After he had finished his work for the night, Frank limped back in the living room. It wasn’t late, but everyone was already in bed. Maybe they would be ready to talk in the morning.
The next day, Frank finally woke up in time to hopefully talk to Mary or Jack before they left. He checked Jack’s...