The Call

The telephone rang with an unexplainable urgency that left little doubt it brought bad news.

Despite the quiet, peaceful way Dave had spent the day, he had an underlying feeling of all not being well. Life hadn’t exactly been sailing along smoothly as of late. His marriage of eight years was squarely at the forefront of Dave’s worries. After five or six wonderful years with Julie, who he loved unquestioningly, things hadn’t been quite as certain the past year or two.

Recently, Julie had suggested that time spent with friends separately might help their problems. That philosophy might even be working, Dave thought. But there were still little questions about things that happened lately.

Today, Julie and her friend Meg were shopping in the city together. Dave had chosen to relax around the house. Dave heard the phone ring, but just couldn’t seem to summon the courage to go answer it.

The midday sun was warm through the glass of the sun room. It was the kind of day that left you contented doing nothing. If he became bored, the guys would tee off at 2:00. He just wasn’t sure he wanted to play golf today.

Recently, Dave seemed to have noticed most of his old hobbies had just begun to have lost their fascination. With them, most of his old friends seemed to stop coming around, as they did for years.

Vaguely, Dave heard the phone continuing its ring. But, as he was starting to walk to to answer, the gleam from his new pistol caught his attention. The old guy at work had been talking about shooting a lot, and Dave had begun to go with him to the shooting range. He found he was really quite good, and he enjoyed repeatedly hitting his mark. Something felt good about the gun in his hand. Maybe he’d go out later today.

The phone was probably for Julie anyway. Maybe he’d just make a quick sandwich, then stop by old Smith’s place, and take him to the shooting range. “Hello”, Dave absently greeted the caller. “Mr. Gerson?” “Yes. Who is this?” “Mr. Gerson, this is Officer Wansing with the State Highway Patrol. I’m afraid I have some bad news. A car in which your wife was traveling, was involved in an automobile accident on Highway 57 up by Dennison. I regret to inform you that she was killed in the accident.”
The words seemed distant to Dave, not fully reaching him. But the next line hit him square between the eyes. “Also killed was the man driving the car.”

Absently, Dave returned the phone to its cradle and reached for his pistol.

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