Waiting for her call

Three thirty in the afternoon. She still had not called.

I was waiting since morning, possibly since the time I was fully awake on my bed for her call. Perhaps it was foolish for me to assume that she will call me, but nevertheless I waited. You could say that I did not even have my breakfast nor lunch. Those two did not seem to be as important as her call.

Seconds tick by. The noisy clock on my wall announces each of them as they pass away. How many moments does a second contain? I ponder at this.

Each second feels like a thousand moments. Perhaps even longer if I really focused. The second-hand ticked slower and slower.

She still has not called me. I look at my telephone in anticipation as I had done innumerable times today.

Perhaps she has forgotten me; or the significance of this day. Or was this some sort of a revenge stunt, based on something I did a long time ago? Surely whatever I did was unintentional. I took great pains to avoid upsetting her back then.

Perhaps she has truly forgotten. I guess I never really mattered to her in the first place.

Or maybe she is ignoring me on purpose, to show that she has forgotten only because she has not. Perhaps she cannot forget and is trying to do so, while trying to show me that this does not matter to her, just to appear strong? In this case, I suppose she does care somewhere deep down inside herself.

The seconds tick by, but they sound like thumping elephants. The second-hand ticks slower and slower. Years seem to pass between those ticks. I feel old; my skin has shriveled and my hair has grayed. My sight seems to have gotten hazy. The clock and the phone come in and out of focus with each passing tick of the second-hand; pulsing as if the universe itself was alive somehow and the clock was its heartbeat.

She still has not called. Perhaps she never will call me. Perhaps she will. I do not know these things. All I can do is wait.

——————————————————–

“It’s time for his evening medication” said the older nurse, looking at the old man by the telephone sadly.

“Was he always like this?” asked the younger one, curious as a girl her age would usually be.

“Yes.. it’s a sad story really…” replied the older, “he’s always spent every day like this, waiting for a call by the phone, staring at the clock.”

“Who’s supposed to call him?” asked the young one again.

The old lady sighed.

“His wife… She’s been dead for over twenty years… It’s their wedding anniversary today….”

——————————————————–

The pause is limitless between each second now. Moments are stringed together in an endless fluid stream that is made of time itself. Eons pass with effortless ease.

The phone begins to ring. With trembling hands I pick it up.

“Hey honey…” she speaks softly to me. “Are you coming to meet me today?”

I did not need to answer. She already knew.

——————————————————–

The retirement home was having a quiet evening. One of their oldest members had just passed away; he was found to be deceased when a young nursed approached him with  his evening medication. The young nurse came into the room just in time to see the old man slump forward gently, with his eyes closed and a smile of contentment on his wrinkled face.

She reported back to her older supervisor immediately; who noticed a slight tremor in the voice of the young girl. She was obviously disturbed at the death of this sad old gentleman.

But death is a natural part of life, and there was nothing to be disturbed about it.

However, a single ring of an dusty old telephone that had not been connected to a phone line in over fifty years, was.

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~ by Prageeth Thoradeniya on August 23, 2011.

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