This is the prologue to a short story I’m currently writing entitled ‘672 hours to the Promised land’.
My phone is ringing, the alternative sound of Wakey!Wakey! forces me to wake up. It’s Monday morning, the sunlight is sneaking in through my venetian blinds blinding me in the process of turning around in my bed. It’s my roommate calling me. He promised to give me a wakeup call, but the wakeup call I asked for in my drunk, over taken by anxiety-like, state was different… Getting out of bed seems to be a hell of a difficult task. I manage to stroll in the direction of the bathroom, en route I attempt to turn off my mobile phone. I almost forgot how deadly these things can be as I trip on my way over a stack of old college textbooks. I just had a discussion in the university pub about this a couple of hours ago. It’s funny how smart phones with touch screens can make you lose touch with reality. The sound of the rain clattering disrupts my thought process. I might as well shower in the balcony… Who am I kidding? My germaphobic tendencies wouldn’t allow to me to even attempt showering in the balcony. I always loved the rain’s grimy allure, especially today. The perfect ambiance emerges from it, the perfect ambiance for how I’m feeling. The only thing I’m missing are a couple of dramatic violin strokes and a crying audience in a packed, sold out, IMAX movie theatre. Unfortunately, this is not a movie.
This is my life. Yes, my life. It is funny how reflecting on your own life can be so insightful. In retrospect I would have done a lot of things different. However, does that mean that my feelings would have been any different? I honestly doubt it. Reminiscing about the past makes, something as simple as, brewing a cup of coffee seem like rocket science. Coffee filters stick to each other, the coffee pot can’t be found and the damn thing doesn’t seem to turn on. I should have bought that Nespresso machine. It probably would have saved me a lot of effort and time. A caffeine junky like me could use a reliable coffee machine. All of a sudden my whole fist vibrates. My phone is ringing again. I almost forgot I was holding my phone in my hand, making coffee has the tendency to make me forget things. Anyway, who would be calling me so early? But as I gazed at the screen I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Maybe there is something wrong with my eyesight, something wrong with my phone, or maybe it’s just a pocket dial? Other similar possibilities involving this call being an accident were racing through my brain. I plunged into the soft old couch, where I always seem to sink in when I watch TV or smoke hookah. My index finger hovers on top of the screen. I hesitate. Should I pick up? I take a sip of my coffee as if I’m trying to control my nerves, well knowing that the coffee doesn’t resuscitate my calmness. No form of liquid is able to calm me down right now. Why would she be calling me? Did something bad happen to her? But if something bad did happen to her, why would she be calling me? Or is someone else calling me from her phone to inform me that something bad happened to her? Nah, why would anyone call me from her phone to inform me about something like that? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t want to pick up, but the curiosity is killing me. The phone is still vibrating in my hand. I am still vibrating. Courtesy of my nerves that don’t want to calm down.
My toe is burning, in my nervousness I spilled coffee on my own foot. I’m staring at my toes, her toes were not perfect, she had a Morton. Her second toe was bigger than her big toe. Didn’t surprise me, I mean, she wasn’t perfect, but neither was I. Neither am I. I am as imperfect as she is, and as everyone else probably is. The phone stopped vibrating. I guess she gave up on calling. Or was it just a pocket dial after all? Just as my nerves started to calm down and I reached to the table to put my phone down, it started to ring again. It’s her again. This must mean that this is a genuine call. She is trying to reach me. I can’t take this anymore, I have to pick up. My index finger swipes the pick up sign on the screen and I move the phone slowly across the right side of my face to my ear. I’m breathing heavy, my heart is beating like someone just jump started it and forgot to crank the juice down after jump starting a Mustang. My chest feels like it’s about to implode. I hear nothing.
Twenty seconds passed by and I still hear nothing, or maybe it was five seconds. Moments like these always make things look longer than they actually are. I sigh, and decide to hang up when all of a sudden I hear something. Not the stagnant noise of nothing, but a person, a person crying. Is she crying? I swallow all my emotions and manage to utter out ‘’Good morning, Sarah…’’. ‘’Good morning…’’ is what she whispers back in a hopeless, damaged, voice. ‘’How did you sleep?’’ is what I blur out. As if it was a normal, everyday, conversation. Subconsciously my mind was trying to derail the course of this conversation before it even started. Because, my mind knew, I knew, the reason why she was calling me. Yes, I knew very well the reason why she was calling me. The reason why she was calling me is… me.
By now you’re probably wondering why. Why can’t he just pick up the phone and have a normal conversation with her. Well, in order for you to understand why we’ll have to go back four weeks, merely 672 hours. Yes, just 672 hours. That’s all it took to arrive at the point where we are right now. Enough about now, let’s go back 672 hours. It all began when…