A Bedtime Story

This entry was posted by on Friday, 17 June, 2005 at

It was dark when I awoke. Gradually, I began to step through a series of realizations:
1) The phone was ringing.
2) At this hour, it could only be my father.
3) I already knew what he had to say.
4) I had better answer it.

With that, I slid from the couch and reluctantly started my way across the room. I was only half way when the answering machine kicked in, but my sister was already there. We would come to get him, she said. Of course we would. The others should be told… surely they must have heard the phone? We crept down the hall together and stood in front of the door for a moment. I knocked, she spoke. The words were few, I don’t remember.

After putting on my jacket, I stepped onto the balcony and gazed out over the sleeping city. I chanced to look down and imagined, for an instant, the horrible sensation it must be to fall those nine floors to the terrace below. Then my grandmother was there, barefoot in her nightgown. That concerned me, for it was barely above freezing outside. It seemed like I had to almost push her back indoors. Anyway, it was time to go.

We drove to the hospital, my sister and I, where my dad had been camped for the last week. The three of us packed up the clothes, the food, the books and papers, the flowers and cards…

There was something else in that room, something that looked very much like my mother. But I knew that it was not my mother, for she had already gone.

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