I pace back and forth, barefoot, on my plush ivory living room carpet. Itís not the first time Iíve done this since my only child started driving. Angelee knows the curfew rule. How many times have I told her? ďIf youíre going to be late, contact me beforehand.Ē
Holding my cell phone, I alternate between calling her and checking if sheís called me. She isnít answering or contacting me. Itís now three hours past her curfew. My stomach is in knots; my breathing swift and shallow.
Tears are welling up in my eyes. I pull my white robe tightly around me. Itís not flannel that I long to feel. I want my daughterís arms around me. I want to hear from Angelee. Ironically, her name means messenger yet she isnít sending me one. Until I hear from her I know neither my heartís rhythm nor my thoughts will slow down.
Twirling my wedding ring, I wish Ben wasnít away. I donít want to be alone.
I walk up stairs, pausing to look at pictures of Angelee. My favorite is of her sixth grade graduation. That year she begged me for a cell phone. I didnít think she needed one. I didnít care if all her friends had phones. Her father and I didnít have cell phones. We argued repeatedly, until the day she was late getting home from her piano lesson.
I called her music school repeatedly. Finally someone answered the phone. Upon my insistence she checked the student logs. ďYes, your husband signed her out.Ē The way she huffed, I knew she was annoyed with me.
ďNo, he wasnít late. I have no idea if they were stopping anywhere.Ē Funny how after all this time I can still remember the sound of her voice.
I also remember the voice of an emergency room nurse. She called me shortly after I hung up with the music school. ďThereís been an accident,Ē she said. My heart stopped. I screamed. I grabbed my keys, and raced to the hospital. Angelee and Ben only had minor bruises, Benís car was totaled. I never let the nurse explain. Ben had asked her to call me so I wouldnít worry. It was too late.
The next day we bought three cell phones.
I hear a knock at the door. For a moment Iím confused. I look at my watch. Itís the middle of the night. Iím jolted back to the present. I put my cell phone in my robeís pocket as I run down the stairs. Iím anxious to hold my baby girl.
Opening the front door, I see two police officers standing there. I look past them to see if Angelee is behind them. Sheís not. A voice startles me.
ďMay we come in?Ē
ďOh yes, Iím sorry. What did you say your names were?Ē
Their names donít register with me. They ask if Ben is home. Theyíre talking about checking email while driving. Email caused an accident? My mind is wandering about like a child in a maze. I look up and see emails from outer space circling around me. I canít find my way out. Iím not sure I want to, not now, not ever. Not without finding Angelee.
Nothing looks or sounds familiar. A man has his arm around my waist, holding me close to him. He whispers to an older couple. ďIíve lost them both.Ē He sobs, tears rolling down his cheeks. They try to console him, ďGod is able to do the impossible. Let Him be your comforter, strength, and healer. What the enemy of your soul meant for evil, God can use for your good Brad and for Janie as well. Angeleeís life touched so many, and now will save even more.Ē They all hug as I look on. Somehow it feels as though theyíre talking about me.
This sea of black is drowning me. Itís too sad in this room. I donít want to be here. I want my cell phone. I must check if Angeleeís sent me a message. I need to hear from her. Somehow I know she sent a very important message to everyone else in this room, something about email. I donít understand and donít really care. I will wait for my message for as long as I have to.
I am escorted out of the sad room to a large foyer. I look outside the glass front doors. I see a rainbow in the sky. I smile. Angelee loved rainbows.
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