CaN i CaLL yOu ToNighT?
If I called you out of the blue tonight, what would we talk about? Would you sit down to a glass of wine, water, or chocolate milk? Would you turn the t.v. off and turn the radio on? Would you step outside during our chatter and smoke a cigarette? Would you change from your daytime clothes and into your pajama pants? Would you tell me a secret? Would you tell me a lie? Would you plug in your phone so our conversation would never have to end? Would your call, or even mine, be the last conversation you choose to have on this Earth or possibly be that single motivating factor that pulls you back into our little raft of life?
This is my happy ending to a foreboding, real life situation.
*ring* *ring* *ring*
You break out of the shadows, run to the sofa, lay on your belly, and debate whether or not you should answer my call. The bottoms of your feet wave in the air. You rub your toes together. Your innate stubbornness has never been a match for my warm personality. You know this as do I. You close your eyes and smile because this call is too important to silence or decline. This is the most special you have felt in weeks, and it is coming at a time when you need it the most.
“Hello?” You answer.
“Hey, you!” I exclaim.
“Long time no talk,” you admit. “No fault to either of us, I guess.”
I remember your voice. I have never forgotten it. It’s too special to simply discard. You feel the same way about me. That is one of the many reasons on why you answered my call.
“There’s something you need to know,” I confess. “If I don’t say it then I know I’ll regret it in the morning.”
Your thoughts immediately turn to the most drastic of situations. You consider your current mindset. It makes you think about your own life and shakes your inner core. I already know you beat yourself up more than you should. You know the same thing about me.
“Oh my God, what is it?” You ask out of genuine concern.
Silence falls over both ends of the line. I hear you sip your drink. I clear my throat.
“I just had you on my mind,” I answer. “If I told you how much I miss you or would miss you, you probably would not believe me.”
Your silence tells me to continue. I hear the raspy breathes of air you take to keep yourself alive. I want you to keep breathing because you are special to me. I care for you so much that words cannot begin to describe it. We have been through too much Hell on Earth to entirely give up on the idea of a Heaven above us.
“I want you to know that you are a warrior, and I admire you so, so much. I hope you know you are not overlooked in this world, and I want you to believe in that idea each time you look into the mirror. You are so special. You are loved to the ends of the earth. You are important. You are beautiful. You have so many good qualities. You make someone’s day better each time they get to see or talk to you. You are here for a reason. You are you and I’m glad there’s someone on this Earth that is like that because, to be honest, I truly love that person. You are a gift of life that I gladly accept every day of the year.”
Your breaths become more rapid because it has been a while since you’ve heard such honest words spoken to you. I continue.
“I want you to know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to. I want you to know that you are not alone and never will be as long as I’m alive. I want you to know that I’m always here for you, through the thick and the thin, through the good and the bad. I want you to know that, no matter how much life grinds you into the dirt, I’ll try to help hold that boot off of you for as long as I can. You will never cease to be amazing, even when your mind wants to turn on you from time to time. You are a dreamer and an answer to someone’s prayer. You are an unbelievable fact in a world full of fiction.”
You utter a noise because you want to interject but the words will not roll off your lips. My heart beats out of concern and control. I cannot stop now.
“I want you to know that you have millions of reasons for living and facing tomorrow, and I hope I can be at the top of your list of reasons. I want you to know that if you need help, I am here, and if I’m not the kind of help you need then please let me help you find something or someone that is. I cannot lose you. You are too precious to be forgotten. You are too loved to feel any different. We all have made poor decisions in the past, but we will not let those choices define our present or future. I want to see you become your greatest self. I want to become my better self while you do the same. Let’s do this together! Me and you! You and whoever! You are never alone. You hear me?”
You clear your throat. I clear mine. My throat feels like freshly pulled cotton.
“Without you here, the sun would not be as warm, the stars would not be as bright, and,” I say before you finally cut me off.
“Where,” a broken piece of air, “where,” another piece, “where is this coming from?” You gingerly ask. “What made you think of me tonight out of all the nights of the year?”
I feel you wipe away the tears that have careened down your cheeks.
“I just thought you should know these things,” I reply. “You have done the same for me in my darkest hour, and one day I may need you to do it again. It’ll probably be sooner than later, you know?”
You chuckle and snort the tears from your mascara stained eyelashes to the back of your throat.
“Well, ohm, thank you,” you say. “I must admit, it has been a tough couple of weeks. I was at my wits end tonight. You will never know how much your words mean to me. My mind hasn’t been that clear lately.”
I scrunch up my lips, close my eyes, and nod my head. I swear it’s almost like you can sense my every move and thought.
“To be honest, yes, I do. I know what it’s like to be caught in a fog. You called me some time ago when I was on the borderline and lifted me up,” I confess. “Your words chased away a lot of evil that night and I’m forever thankful. Time tapped me on the shoulder and told me to return the favor.”
You giggle because it warms your soul to not feel alone anymore. I answer your response with a lighthearted chuckle. Our feelings are mutual.
“Thank you for this! I mean it!” You exclaim. “You were right on time, as usual.”
“Am I not always?” I jokingly ask. “Can we talk again, soon?”
“Sooner than later, as the saying goes, eh?” You return the question back to me.
I smile. You smile. We smile until our cheeks hurt.
“I agree. Sooner is always better than later on some things,” I reply. “This was one of those occasions.”
We agree but do not speak it.
“Don’t be a stranger!”
“You either!” You exclaim. “Thanks for calling tonight!”
“No problem! That’s why I exist,” I joke. “Until next time?”
“After a conversation like this, how can I argue?” You ask. “Thanks for sharing the love!”
“Well, it is one thing in life that is supposed to be free,” I answer. “Right?”
“Yeah,” you say and scoff, “one would like to think so!”
We exchange laughter.
We look at the phone and smile, waiting to see which one of us hangs up first. We cannot bring ourselves to hit the red end call button. You fight back tears. I fight back seismic heart beats. We slowly realize that our cell phones are the lifejackets of the future. Our sponsoring phone call was an intercession of something miraculous, and we can feel that sensation as we take our thumbs and hold it millimeters from the red button on the phone’s screen. We parachute together into oblivion, take a breath, and know that our lives are forever connected, regardless of the outcomes. You smile. I smile. Our words have given each other a reason to face tomorrow, and we cannot wait for that day to come so we can have another moment just like this one.
A moment that we will never forget because it lasts for an eternity.
*hit end call button*
Thank you for reading / Feel free to share / Push Play for Another Song from my Personal Stash
Personal Note: To Whom It May Concern
If someone is on your mind, they might be there for a reason. We do not know what is going on in people’s lives or minds, and we never know the struggles that people are facing even though they are smiling and things appear to be normal. If you need help, first realize that you are not alone in the daily struggles with this life and, secondly, reach out to those people you can trust and are best suited to guide you in the right direction.
When my current novel, A Story About Her, finally reaches publication, I hope to use it as a universal tool for promoting emotional well being, suicide prevention, and mental awareness. Some of the scenarios in the novel will be difficult to read or possibly see on a screen, but the issues encountered in fiction can be more real than we would like to imagine. Suicide, mental illness, and emotional well being does not discriminate when it comes to age, race, religion, gender, or political status. It affects more people and families than the statistics will ever be able to prove.
I use and coin the slogan ‘going to the edge and back, one word at a time’, and I would like to put emphasis on the ‘and back’ part of that phrase. I have gone ten out of twelve rounds with the boxing match called life so far, and I have my fair share of bruises, body shots, swollen eyes, and collisions with the mat. I want you to know that your life is important! Every life is important! If you think that nobody in this world cares about you, I implore you to listen to your other shoulder for a minute or two. You are special in your own way, and there is help out there for you if you need or want it.
We all need one another now, more than ever, and there is nothing wrong or shameful in admitting that. It is okay to go to the edge in this life, just know that you can come back, share your experience, and hopefully help in saving another life in the process. You never know how much of an impact your life story can have in furthering another person’s life and their story. If you have lost a family member or friend due to complications with mental illness, emotional well being, or suicide – my heart and love and prayers go out to you!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Better yet, WE ARE NOT ALONE!