The Visit

She answered the phone and heard her daughter’s voice for the first time in many years. – Today’s Author

“Hello, Ma. How are you?”

Click.

Must be a wrong number, Mrs Graham concluded. She turned her back on the phone and walked to her couch, and Dr Oz.

She sighed as the doctor announced a commercial break. The phone rang again. She heaved herself from the couch mumbling, “Oh, these things never leave me in peace.” She trudged over to the telephone stand in the kitchen and picked up the receiver with a trembling hand. “Hello,” she meant to say in a crisp voice. All that came out was a treble. She tried again.

“Hello,” Shaky this time, but not as squeaky.

“Mama! It’s me, Karen.”

“Eh?” She cleared her throat, “Karen?”

“Yes, yes, Mama! How are you?”

Mrs Graham crinkled her eyes, “Who’s mama?”

Click.

“Hello?” Mrs Graham looked at the silent now-receiver in her hand. She didn’t understand. One moment there was a woman’s voice, and the next, nothing. “Hello?” she called into the receiver. “Anyone there?”

She heard no reply. She could hear that the jingles had come to an end, so she went back to Dr. Oz.

By the time the show ended, about an hour later, the doorbell rang. Mrs Graham let it ring for a few moments before making a grudging effort to get up from the couch.

The bell continued to ring as she traced her footsteps to the door. Imagining the old days when she would just yank the door away, she turned the knob with a soft touch.

There stood a young woman at the door, her eyes wide and lips apart in uncertainty. She looked about medium age, tall, and tanned. Her curly hair danced to the breeze playing outside. Mrs Graham looked at her in exasperation.

Earlier, whenever the bell rang, Mrs Graham would rush to the door, hoping it would be someone to visit her. They had told her she had a daughter. And a grand daughter. And that they’d stop by whenever they had the chance. But ever since she had woken up from her coma, no one had called.

“The girl’s house is over there,” She waved her hand at the house opposite to hers. She had grown tired of young high schoolers stopping by her doorstep looking for their class mate who threw parties all night.

“Mama, it’s your daughter.”

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