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Author Topic: Midnight Phone Call
BelleMorte
Jingle Bell Hock


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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 if my 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 night stand. "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.

--------------------
"Cheating Hall Of Shame"-in honor of the dishonest.
Every driver, owner and crew chief has a place in our Hall, which won't be moving to Daytona Beach anytime soon. Lone exception? Kyle Petty, who hasn't won a race since 1754.

Posts: 545 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
strange_little_girl
The First USA Noel


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Obviously the pregnat drunk driving teenager isn't too great at listening either if she couldnt work out it wasnt her own mother she was talking to.

--------------------
I tried to get in touch with my inner child, but she isn't allowed to talk
to strangers.

Posts: 674 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Penny
Deck the Malls


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I must admit, I didn't see the ending of this one coming. I'll give it that much credit.

I can't help but wonder what happens when the kid returns to her own unenlightened-mother's doorstep and gets lectured, though!

Posts: 340 | From: Redmond, WA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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"What the hell do you mean 'I'm pregnant'?! You never called me and told me that! What the hell have I been doing, wasting my time telling you not to screw around and drink? You deserve it, you stupid brat! And don't think for one moment I'm going to take over raising that child for you because you don't know how to keep your damn knees together! You shoulda just kept driving than come home and give me this kind of grief! You're so lucky your father died two years ago, or he would've beaten the nfbsk out of you for this! The shame! The disgrace! What will the Father at church think? I have no daughter!!!"

--------------------
I would prefer not to.
My blog

Posts: 4789 | From: Rhode Island | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Pork Chop
Anchovy of a 1000 Days


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"Mama, I'm a pregnant alcoholic. I pretended to hate you and ran away, but now that the odds are against me, I need help. This whole mess is your fault for not listening. I've already called a taxi and i'm coming home. Oh wait, I think I can drive now."

6 months later, little Timbob was born. He had a hairlip and was mentally handicapped, thanks to his mother's excessive drinking. "He's beautiful." she said, right before passing out from one too many Budweisers.

--------------------
Have you heard the Word?
Praise Hircine!

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CatJuggler
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I wish I could have rational conversations at midnight like this after I've been drinking and nearly drove off the road.

I either call to say: I hate YOU, you're a lucking foser or

I love you soooooo much honey bunny lips.

Cat (needs to stop drunken dialing) Juggler

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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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I expected this one to end, "Mom? I was just kidding, I haven't been drinking and I'm not pregnant. But I got a D in math. Just thought I'd put things in proportion."

This mother must not be a good listener either if it takes this long to realize she's not talking to her own daughter! Or did she know all along and just string the caller along?

--------------------
Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

Posts: 1720 | From: Charlottesville, VA | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Brian O'blivion
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Jerking up to the ringing summons, I focused on the red illuminated numbers of my clock.
Uh,oh...someone's been taking a creative writing course...

quote:
Originally posted by Penny:
I must admit, I didn't see the ending of this one coming. I'll give it that much credit.

Yeah, I thought the mom was going to turn out to be a ghost. Please...don't reveal the shocking twist ending of "Midnight Phone Call"!!!
Posts: 307 | From: California | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jacob's Child
Deck the Malls


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Maybe Mom wasn't awake at all. I've apparently had entire conversations with friends that I don't remember because they called me in the middle of the night. Now I know better and I turn off the phone before going to bed.

Judy

--------------------
In an avalanche, no individual snowflake feels responsible.

Posts: 402 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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quote:
Originally posted by Brian O'blivion:
Yeah, I thought the mom was going to turn out to be a ghost. Please...don't reveal the shocking twist ending of "Midnight Phone Call"!!!

I thought the daughter was going to be the ghost. "Mom, forgive me, I love you, blah blah blah."

Mom hangs up the phone, knock at the door... "Ma'am, your pregnant drunk daughter died in a car accident."

Or something to that effect.

--------------------
"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

Posts: 4524 | From: South of Madison, Wisconsin | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Let the midnight special shine the light on me...

--------------------
Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

Posts: 4771 | From: The Berkeley of the East Coast: Montgomery County MD | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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