The Last Call.

The last call.

By: Billy Winningham.

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It was almost 10 and they were still out. Frank had stayed home to finish working on a presentation for work tomorrow. He was getting that promotion no matter what. No more asking his dad for money or his wife, Mary, having to work two shifts at the hospital. And then, he might be able to buy Jack a car so that he wouldn??™t have to drive him around town anymore. Chester, the family cat, came and jumped on his desk again. ???Get off, you stupid cat,??? Frank mumbled, pushing the cat away. About three years ago, Frank went to the dump to drop some stuff off and on his way back home, he heard some purring in the backseat. He couldn??™t just stop and drop it off, besides, Mary always wanted a cat. It was small and it didn??™t look like it shed a lot, so he decided to keep it.
It was getting late. They had just gone out to get some food to bring back. What could take this long Mary said something about fried chicken, Frank??™s favorite. He decided to give her a call, even though she hated when he checked up on her. After a few seconds, she answered but all he could hear was crackling. She must be going through the tunnel, he thought. The pain in his leg was killing him. He went and took some painkillers and passed out soon after.
Frank woke up Thursday morning late as usual. Chester was the only one to greet him. Where were Mary, Jack and Rob Frank searched the house for them, only to find that it was empty. When he couldn??™t find anyone, he called her cell again. It was dead. Frank panicked. He had to get to work by 9 and it was already 8:15 and it takes 30 minutes to get there. Maybe she??™s gone, he thought to himself as he put on a fresh shirt. He had to get to work. He finished getting ready and grabbed his poster board. He left her a note on the refrigerator when he walked out. ???Dear God, I hope she calls??¦??? he said to the empty rooms.
Frank got to work just on time. When he walked in, he heard some people talking about a huge car crash, but he brushed it off and went straight to his office. He was about to call Mary again, but his boss walked in. Maybe after the meeting, he thought. The meeting was a success and Frank got promoted, just as he had hoped. This could be the best day of his life, if only he could talk to his family. He called Mary one more time, but no answer. He didn??™t have the money to buy Jack a phone and his father, Rob couldn??™t ever figure out how to use one. ???People got along just fine for thousands of years without them, I think I??™ll do fine,??? he always said. He would just have to find out when he got home.
Frank practically sprinted home after work. The car was in the front yard, they were home. He rushed inside and went to find Mary. From the moment he and Mary had met, they knew they were meant for each other. They were high school sweethearts and moved in together during college. When they had their first son, Jack, they thought they were on the top of the world. Soon after, they started running out of money. They had to move out of their old apartment and in with his father. Lately, they had been fighting more than usual and she had threatened to leave Frank for good. When she was gone all night, he thought she had come through on her promise. But she was back now, and that was all that mattered. He searched every inch of the house and couldn??™t find anyone anywhere. Frank was overcome with grief. He turned the corner in the kitchen, fell and busted his head on the corner.
Around three hours later, Frank woke up. His leg was throbbing. When he was younger, his alcoholic father used to beat him after he got home from work. He had a couple surgeries, but the pain never seemed to go away. That was about the only thing his dad had ever given him. He popped a couple more pills and heard the television on and took off into the living room. He saw all of them sitting in on the couch.
???Where in the world have you guys been??? yelled Frank. No one said a word. Was he dreaming ???I got the promotion today.??? They were all talking to each other and ignored Frank??™s existence. He decided to go back to the study and work on his new job. He picked up the paper, lit a cigar and read the newspaper like he did every night. Chester came in and jumped on his lap. Frank pushed him off again and Chester hissed and went back into the den. ???Family of 3 killed in car crash???, he ignored the main headline, and there were probably better stories inside. After he had finished his work for the night, Frank limped back in the living room. It wasn??™t late, but everyone was already in bed. Maybe they would be ready to talk in the morning.
The next day, Frank finally woke up in time to hopefully talk to Mary or Jack before they left. He checked Jack??™s room and the couch, but they had both had gone off already. Then he checked Rob??™s room and saw him still sleeping. I??™ll check with him before I leave, he thought. Frank and Rob had always been close. Frank??™s alcoholic, gambling father left him when Frank was 5. His mom got married to Rob, and from then on, Frank always considered Rob to be his real father. He wanted to be just like Rob when he grew up, even though he fell short of that goal. Rob was the one who helped Frank out when he was at his lowest points. Rob funded for Frank to go to college and he allowed him and his family to move in with him when he could no longer pay for his apartment. Frank owed so much to him, but Rob didn??™t want anything more than his company in return. Frank tried easily to wake Rob up, but he wouldn??™t budge. He would have to wait until after work to find out what was going on.
The day seemed to drag on and on and when it was finally 5, Frank rushed home. Jack and Rob were the only ones home. ???Hey, bud. I got that promotion, you want to go out and look for you a car??? No response. Any other time, Jack would have jumped at the chance of getting a car. There was something seriously wrong. Frank never told him, but Jack wasn??™t supposed to happen. He never wanted a kid and he definitely didn??™t want one at the time he was born. Times were getting tight and a kid was the last thing he needed. But after he was born, Frank grew to love him. He heard Mary come in the door and hang her coat on the hook. She looked perfectly happy. Frank tried talking to her, but yet again, she ignored him. This was getting ridiculous. He walked infront of her, grabbed her and tried to talk to her. She walked right around him. She didn??™t feel like anything, she felt like air.
He went back to his room and took a couple more pills for his leg, totaling 8 today. He saw the newspaper from the day before and something on the first page caught his eye, ???Among the people in the accident were Mary Savage, 37, Jack Savage, 16, and Rob Reed, 63.??? His stomach hit the floor. They were dead. He went back out into the kitchen and they were all gone. He had just imagined them being there. He looked at the pill bottle in his hand ???May cause hallucinations.??? This must all be a sick dream. He ran out into the yard, the car was gone. He went back and finished the article. It said Mary had run a red light and was hit on the driver??™s side by a garbage truck. They were all dead when the medics came. The paper said it happened around 10 that evening. He had tried to call her around 10. The end of the article said she was on the phone at the time of the accident. If Frank hadn??™t called her to see where she was, this would have never happened. His father, his wife and his son were all gone. It was all a coincidence, but Frank couldn??™t help but feel responsible. Everything he had was all gone.

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