Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Learning To Listen

By Johnny Silvas

We all know what it's like to get that phone call in the middle of the night.

This night's call was no different.

Jerking up to the ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my clock. Midnight. Panicky thoughts filled my sleep-dazed mind as I grabbed the receiver.

"Hello?"

My heart pounded; I gripped the phone tighter and eyed my husband, who was now turning to face my side of the bed.

"Mama?"

I could hardly hear the whisper over the static. But my thoughts immediately went to my daughter. When the desperate sound of a young crying voice became clearer on the line, I grabbed for my husband and squeezed his wrist.

"Mama, I know it's late, but don't...don't say anything, until I finish. And before you ask, yes, I've been drinking. I nearly ran off the road a few miles back and..."

I drew in a sharp shallow breath, released my husband and pressed my hand against my forehead. Sleep still fogged my mind, and I attempted to fight back the panic.

Something wasn't right.

"And I got so scared. All I could think about was how it would hurt you if a policeman came to your door and said I'd been killed. I want...to come home. I know running away was wrong. I know you've been worried sick. I should have called you days ago, but I was afraid...afraid..."

Sobs of deep-felt emotion flowed from the receiver and poured into my heart. Immediately I pictured my daughter's face in my mind and my fogged senses seemed to clear. "I think..."

"No! Please let me finish! Please!" She pleaded, not so much in anger but in desperation.

I paused and tried to think of what to say. Before I could go on, she continued, "I'm pregnant, Mama. I know I shouldn't be drinking now... especially now, but I'm scared, Mama, so scared!"

The voice broke again and I bit into my lip feeling my own eyes fill with moisture. I looked at my husband who sat silently mouthing, "Who is it?"

I shook my head and when I didn't answer, he jumped up and left the room, returning seconds later with the portable phone held to his ear. She must have heard the click in the line because she continued, "Are you still there? Please don't hang up on me! I need you. I feel so alone."

I clutched the phone and stared at my husband, seeking guidance. "I'm here, I wouldn't hang up," I said.

"I know I should have told you, Mama. But when we talk, you just keep telling me what I should do. You read all those pamphlets on how to talk about sex and all, but all you do is talk. You don't listen to me. You never let me tell you how I feel. It is as filmy feelings aren't important. Because you're my mother, you think you have all the answers. But sometimes I don't need answers. I just want someone to listen."

I swallowed the lump in my throat and stared at the how-to-talk- to-your-kids pamphlets scattered on my nightstand. "I'm listening," I whispered.

"You know, back there on the road, after I got the car under control, I started thinking about the baby and taking care of it. Then I saw this phone booth and it was as if I could hear you preaching about people shouldn't drink and drive. So I called a taxi. I want to come home."

"That's good, Honey," I said as relief filled my chest. My husband came closer, sat down beside me and laced his fingers through mine. I knew from his touch that he thought I was doing and saying the right thing.

"But you know, I think I can drive now."

"No!" I snapped. My muscles stiffened, and I tightened the clasp on my husband's hand. "Please, wait for the taxi. Don't hang up on me until the taxi gets there."

"I just want to come home, Mama."

"I know. But do this for your mama. Wait for the taxi, please." I listened to the silence in fear. When I didn't hear her answer, I bit into my lip and closed my eyes. Somehow I had to stop her from driving.

"There's the taxi, now."

Only when I heard someone in the background asking about a Yellow Cab did I feel my tension easing.

I'm coming home, Mama."

There was a click and the phone went silent. Moving from the bed with tears forming in my eyes, I walked out into the hall and went to stand in my sixteen-year-old daughter's room. The dark silence hung thick. My husband came from behind, wrapped his arms around me and rested his chin on the top of my head. I wiped the tears from my cheeks.

"We have to learn to listen," I said.

He pulled me around to face him. "We'll learn. You'll see."

Then he took me into his arms and I buried my head in his shoulder. I let him hold me for several moments, then I pulled back and stared back at the bed. He studied me for a second, then asked, "Do you think she'll ever know she dialed the wrong number?"

I looked at our sleeping daughter, then back at him. "Maybe it wasn't such a wrong number."

"Mom, Dad, what are you doing?" The muffled young voice came from under the covers.

I walked over to my daughter, who now sat up staring into the darkness.

"We're practicing," I answered.

"Practicing what?" she mumbled and laid back on the mattress, her eyes already closed in slumber.

"Listening," I whispered, and brushed a hand over her cheek.
Reactions:

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

Book Blogs Community

Indie Author Blog Hop


indie author blog hop
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next

In Support Of

In Support Of

Support Me - KIVA

Celebrating Authors

Book Signing @

Read Me - E.Zine Articles

Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Software