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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Silence

It had been five years.

Five years of old wounds, words left unexpressed, tears and pride.

Five years with zero communication.

No I hope you are smiling today text messages, no family photos were e-mailed, no three hour phone calls just because, no humorous you'll always be older birthday cards or holiday greetings. There were no weekend visits or three glasses of wine long lunches.

Silence.

Regret.

Loss.

It was as if their connection, their friendship never even existed.

One

Two

Three rings

Part of her was relieved when she saw the name appear on her phone screen, although, it was after midnight. What a strange time to choose to extend an olive branch she thought.

The name she saw illuminated in the dark was one that had crossed her mind so many times as she wondered how the person who it belonged to was doing. She would always silently send love and light and then would go on about her day.

She was relieved to see the name now because at last, the ice had been broken and she was grateful that she hadn't had been the one to take the first step.

She was angry too. At herself. She should have been the bigger person, she should be the one reaching out.

Lastly, she was surprised that the name and number were still stored in her phone. But, then again of course they were.

Four

Five

Six rings.

Letting the call go to voice mail would be the easiest course of action and the most cowardly.

She turned on the lamp on the bedside table, took a deep breath and answered the call.

Before she could say a word, she heard:

"Hello, I'm Sean."
Who? Was he crying?

"You don't know me. I'm your sister's husband.
What the hell? She got married?! I suppose a lot can happen in five years.

I'm using her phone. I, um found your number in her contacts."
She still has my number in her phone too.

"Okay?"

There was a long pause and a very heavy sigh and somehow she knew that the next words out of his mouth would change her life forever.

"Well, you see, um, there has been an accident. She didn't make it."

"What?"

"Your sister and our daughter died tonight in a car accident. I thought you should know."

Silence.

Regret.

Loss.

Nothing would keep me from talking to my sister! This post is fiction and was written for The Red Dress Club's writing assignment, Red Writing Hood. This week's prompt was to write a piece surrounding the following details: In the middle of the night, you get an urgent call from a friend you haven’t talked to in years. Something terrible has happened. What is it and why is he/she calling you?

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40 Comments:

Blogger Alison said...

I enjoyed every word of this story. It was built up really well, and had me wanting to get to the end to see what happened. Sad ending, but somehow, apt.

April 14, 2011 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

well done. wow. powerful stuff.

April 14, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

So good. Soooo good. I feel sick, and also truly touched. I need to get to bed and now i may not be able to. Just have to remind myself it is fiction. Wow. Really fantastic writing.

April 14, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Frume Sarah said...

This was so good. I mean, really good.

April 14, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I'm so glad you added at the bottom that this was fiction.

Great job with the prompt. I would never want that phone call.

April 15, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger rajumadhur said...

Must admit that you are one of the coolest bloggers I ever saw.





Christmas Letters

April 15, 2011 at 2:17 AM  
Blogger Keda said...

good job. and very much hitting home, I am afraid.

April 15, 2011 at 2:18 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

So well done, you have to continue with these characters. Before these moments and after. They are so real and you have me hooked.

April 15, 2011 at 4:06 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Great build up of tension - I was practically screaming at her to pick up the phone already!!

April 15, 2011 at 4:07 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Oh..my...gosh...how sad. I nearly cried at the end. Great job!!!

April 15, 2011 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger ~dawn said...

"somehow she knew that the next words out of his mouth would change her life forever."
Love that line - we always think in the back of our minds about "that" middle of the night call - hope to never receive one.
This was very well done!
~d

April 15, 2011 at 5:19 AM  
Blogger BalancingMama (Julie) said...

I figured you were talking about an old friend - and to realize it was her sister? Genius. Good build-up. Great post!

April 15, 2011 at 6:26 AM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

Ooh, this is good. Love that it was her sister - how heartbreaking - and the addition of the daughter in the news was just the perfect touch. Nice work, T!

April 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger alicia said...

WOW! Gripping. Heart wrenching. Bravo.

April 15, 2011 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger Coreen said...

Very nice Tonya, powerful. Made my heart drop into my stomach.

April 15, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger WeeMasonMan's Mom said...

Oh my gosh, LOVED IT!

If this was a teaser for a book, I would go and get it immediately!

April 15, 2011 at 8:07 AM  
Anonymous Sara said...

This was a tough one. Well written, but not easy to read. I just reunited with my older sister after many years of being cut off. I always worried about this exact scenario. Fortunately, I got the second chance.

I liked how you wrote her thoughts prior to answering the phone and the dialogue. This was well written.

p.s.
Due to construction at my site (posts disappear without warning), I have moved my story to a friend's site. If you want to read it, go here http://www.shadesofcrimson.com/2011/04/14/guest-post-the-call/. I would love your thoughts about the story.

April 15, 2011 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Mommy's Paradise said...

This post made me swallow dry and hard a couple of times. I am so glad it's fiction, but it might have happened to somebody for real. Terrific writing for the prompt they gave.

April 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Sober Julie said...

Well written and oh so sad!

April 15, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

I love the build up to the end. I got major chills at the ending too. SO sad. This is a also good reminder to make sure we talk to and tell the ones we love that we do. Nice job on this!

April 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Jessica.B said...

Wow! This left me speechless! Well written.
-Jessica
http://mommiesblog2011.blogspot.com/

April 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

Great job with the TRDC prompt! I can't tell you how glad I was that this was fiction. I agree, nothing could keep me from my sister for that long either.

April 15, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Wow.

Wonderfully written.

April 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger "M" said...

Really awesome. Very powerful. I kept wanting to read more.

April 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Really gripping, Tonya!

Makes me wonder why they were estranged, though..Five years without speaking to my sister? It would have to be something really terrible.

April 15, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Writerly Wanna Be said...

Wow, with so few lines you have me right there in her soul. I loved this piece. Your word choices and organization really bring this piece to the quality it is. Thanks for posting this.

April 15, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger K Pugliano said...

Wow! This is the first piece that actually left me with GOOSEBUMPS!!!

So,so, sad! And full of regret...oh- this was great from the very first sentence to the very last!

April 15, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

holy.
crap.

that is all i can say. seriously.

love your writing, the concept is what's hard for me!

April 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Well written.
And what a sad story. You never know how long you have.
To say "I love you".

April 15, 2011 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Mommylebron said...

How sad. I love the way you built up the anticipation before answering the phone. The gratefulness and regret for the phone call...A tearjerker for sure!

April 15, 2011 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

This was really well written T! I am so grateful this will never be our true story.. But you do owe me about 8 phone calls! Haha! XOXO

April 15, 2011 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Nichole said...

My heart just broke.
Please, please go bring her back to life with the other prompt!

Awesome job, Tonya!

April 15, 2011 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger angela said...

Even though it's fiction, my heart hurts for her. The tension is built up very well, and I am so excited for her as she gets excited about the call and talks about how she should have been the first to reach out. Heartbreaking that it's too late :(

One little thing didn't flow perfectly to me. In the fourth paragraph, I would take out the "were" to make it "no family photographs e-mailed" because it seems to flow better with the rest of the listed things.

I'm only mentioning it, because I feel like the rest of the piece just moves seamlessly forward. Excellent job!

April 15, 2011 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Mamarazzi said...

this made me cry.

beautifully written,

i wish it wasn't almost 2am here, because i would most def be calling my sisters. i DID talk to both of them earlier today (yesterday) but still, stuff like this is a beautiful reminder!!

thanks for that!

April 16, 2011 at 1:41 AM  
Anonymous Miel Abeille said...

There's such a sincerity to this piece, I had to do a double take at the end to be sure it read "fiction." Great job!

April 16, 2011 at 1:58 AM  
Blogger Sluiter Nation said...

I agree with Nichole! bring her back to life with the other prompt!

also...now I feel like I am missing a HUGE story!

Great internal dialogue!

April 16, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger The Random Blogette said...

Wow! Seriously Tonya, you are an amazing writer!

April 17, 2011 at 7:11 AM  
Blogger JennieB said...

So much suspense and the story rose right from the beginning. Loved it, though it made my heart sink.

April 17, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon said...

Makes you realize that nothing is ever that bad that you can't mend family. beautifully done.

April 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

This broke my heart...but at the same time, I wanted to read more.

I know several people who just can't stand their sisters, but how much would be lost to not maintain that bond...

April 17, 2011 at 8:48 PM  

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