It’s 4.00 am on a Monday morning. I suddenly wake up, and nothing seems right. My head is pounding and I have a hangover that seems to have been sent by the devil to torture me. To make it worse, I remember that I have to go to work in just a few hours. Where was I yesterday? Why do I feel this way? I try to recall. It suddenly hits me that I had been to a nearby pub by myself, drowning in my sorrows.
I start to panic. Something about the uncertainty of not knowing how I got home makes my heartbeat extremely fast. I jolt out of bed and walk to the kitchen to get some water. As soon as I drink it, my stomach becomes uncomfortable and I rush to the washroom to throw up. I’ve never felt this bad, and I’m ready to swear that I’ve quit alcohol. I start to wonder what I had to drink, but I can’t recall. I turn my phone on and the last call that I made was to my ex-boyfriend. “Oh my goodness!” I scream out loud before it hits me that my hot-tempered roommate is in the next room.
I walk to the living room and start to play candy crush, it eases my anxiety. An hour later, I’ve lost the game too many times and I have to wait two hours for my next life. I start to scroll through my apps and I land on the calendar. The 1st of September. It all makes sense now, that’s why I feel this way. It’s been five years since I lost my dad, the love of my life. Just thinking about it sends me back to the washroom. I throw up a second time and this time I start to weep. I can’t take it. My heart can’t take it and my body can’t either.
I open my Twitter account and write a post: I wish heaven had visiting hours. I meant it, I really did. If there was a way I could see him just one more time and tell him that I love him, I would do it. Anything. I was willing to do anything, just to tell him that I loved him. Five minutes in I have people commenting, telling me to calm down and that they’re here for me. But I don’t want them, I just want my father. There’s absolutely no one on this earth who can replace him. No human interaction can come close to what I had with him. People keep saying they’ll be with you through it all, but where are they now? Where are they now that I’m drowning in depression?
I scroll through my feed, and everyone is living their lives as though nothing has happened. It’s as though the world did not lose someone legendary just a few years ago. How cruel. I get a blanket and cover myself, drenched in my tears. I wish there was someone I could call, but that someone dumped me because I was too sad. I can’t take it. Maybe I should just end it all.
I get a DM from a stranger, and I rush to open it.
Hi, I think I can help with this situation.
I stare at the message and wonder what he means. How can he help? I must admit, this message sort of calms me down, and I try to get myself together to respond to it.
How? What do you mean?
I respond, waiting anxiously for a response. I see him typing and I get a sudden wave of hope.
I can talk to the dead.
This message makes me laugh.
I stop and think. What could possibly go wrong? This could turn out to be a story I write on my blog one day. I can even picture the heading: A Man Cons Me Into Thinking That He Can Speak To My Dead Father.
I dial his number quickly.
“Hello, who am I speaking to?” I ask.
“You don’t need to know my name. All you need to know is that I can speak to your father?”
“How did you know…” he interrupts me.
“Trust me, this is deeper than you think,” he answers.
I hang up. How can this be real? How would he know that it’s my father who’s dead? Maybe this man is someone I know. Maybe he’s a stalker.
Two minutes later he calls back.
“Hear me out. Let me tell you one thing that only you and your father know about,” he says.
“No, this is really creepy,” I respond, now panicking, “Tell me.”
“When you were four years old, your father was pushing you on a stroller and you fell into the mud. The two of you vowed not to tell your mum because the two of you would be held accountable.”
“How? How could you?” I gasp. I can’t believe what he’s telling me. He hangs up. Without thinking twice I dial his number once again.
“Please tell him that I love him. Tell him I love him with all my heart and I should have said it more often. Tell him…” I try to speak but my raspy voice and the lump in my throat break into an outburst of cry.
It’s now 7 am and I have to get to work. I rush to the bathroom and take a quick shower. When I get out I see my roommate looking at me and rolling her eyes.
“Why do you have to make so much noise in the morning?” She asks.
“I’m sorry. It’s an emotional day for me. I lost my dad on this day five years ago.”
She walks away looking least concerned. I go to work and have the worst experience ever. For starters, my boss yells at me when I get in. I realize that in my rush, I forgot my phone at home. I spill coffee on my white dress and it’s clearly visible.
As soon as the clock hits 5 pm, I carry my luggage and rush to the car. The traffic is insane and all I want to do is get home, take a nice nap and sleep. I haven’t eaten all day, but what good is the food when the person I would have loved to share it with is no more?
As I enter the house, I realize that my phone is buzzing. As soon as I approach it stops vibrating. 20 missed calls from the guy who speaks to the dead. I stare at the phone wondering if I’m really in the correct headspace to talk to him. He calls again.
“Hello, I’ve been trying to reach you all day. Your dad has a very important message for you. He says, to check the spam folder on your email. One last thing he left a very important message for you…”
I open my computer and quickly open my email. There’s a congratulatory message, I just got offered a job at a huge company. I see the message and drop my phone. I’m in shock.
When I pick it up, I realize that my phone screen has cracked and my phone has gone off. I try to turn it on but to no avail.
My roommate walks in.
“Oh my, hi Selina, how are you? Guess what happened! I posted this tweet earlier this morning, this guy messaged me claiming he speaks to the dead. We started talking and this evening he says that my dad has a message for me…”
“Oh please, cut me some slack,” she says as she walks away.
I quickly run back to the parking lot and headed to a place to fix my phone. I find a place in the Central Business District and it takes them two hours to fix it. As soon as I get into the car, I dial this man’s number. By this time my hands are fumbling and the anxiety is killing me. I’m dying to know the other message that he has for me.
“Hello? Hello?” I say.
“Sorry, the mobile subscriber cannot be reached.”
I can’t take it. I counter-check to see if I have the correct number. What could possibly be wrong? In this short encounter that I have had with this man, he has been more available than any other man I’ve ever talked to.
One month goes by, I landed a new job. I love it. My boss is extremely friendly and receptive. The salary is paying more than I ever thought I would earn. I’ve moved out of my old house and I now live alone. Life is good, but I can’t get one thing out of my mind. What did my dad want to tell me?
I’m seated in a bar on a Saturday afternoon when I get a phone call from that same number. I rush outside to a quieter place, excited to finally discover what he has to say. I take a deep breath and answer the phone.
“Hello, how can I help you?” The person says. Surprisingly it’s a lady who picks up the phone.
“I’d like to speak to the person who speaks to the dead.”
“The guy who what? Is this a prank? Don’t ever call this number again,” she says. She seems to have an American accent.
I walk back to the bar, regretting that day when I dropped my phone. I lost the opportunity of a lifetime. I check my Twitter once more, the account has been deleted after I received the DM and the account has never come back online.
“Excuse me, bartender? Can I have another shot of whiskey? I need to get drunk.”
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