I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket. I pulled it and read the incoming call from MOM.
I was skeptical as usual.
I connected the call but did not speak. I heard a dull static on the other end.
“Hello?” came the voice of my mom.
Well it wasn’t a tracer, I thought.
I grunted and gave a deliberately monotone “Hello mom” in skilled defense of the tone-modelers.
It didn’t matter, I thought. They already have my register.
“Where are you mom?” I asked dully and rolled my eyes, reluctantly relaxing and relinquishing my voice.
“I’m where I always am” the voice replied as it always did.
Sigh…it still doesn’t cease to irritate after all these years.
“Great, and why are you calling?” I quickened as I checked my watch. There was really no way around it…
“To tell you what I always do”
“And what’s that?” I sighed
“I love you…”
My mouth tightened as I winced, brow furrowed. I felt depressed and hopeless.
I miss her so bad.
“Mmmmhhmm” I replied, not ready to be hurt and disappointed again.
“It’s me, your mom” the voice pleaded in near clear perfection as she spoke to me when I was still a young child…
As it always did, my protective side chimed in as I sank to the floor.
My heart panged with longing…I took a deep breath and signed perhaps just opening the door enough to get hurt again.
“I…”. I sighed but couldn’t speak.
I wish there was some way to…JUST FUCKING KNOW!!
My rage exploded in a lightning-strike fury. All those years of searching, wondering, and tiring disappointment.
Then I heard the weeping. It came forth from my mother like a dam shattering gushing volumes of river water trapped in loneliness and longing. I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s…it’s you! “It’s really you!!” was all I was able to choke up into the phone as my face tightened making way or my own rivers to flow. Everything came back to me in that moment.
All that was there was my mother with a white light around her, holding me in her healing arms while I cried, in our small apartment with beige stucco and small windows.
I remembered the way she caressed my hair and put my mind at ease with the troubles of the world as a child growing up in this world us humans created. I remember how she told me she would be right back as she walked out of the door into the hallway.
I remembered…it was too much.
My stomach turned and I cringed still hearing my mother’s now-broken sobs over the line, realizing it had been over half a minute of silence on my end while she cried.
“I, I wish I could just…” my mother choked out in between sobs.
“I know ma. Me too..” I finally allowed.
It was the one piece of the code the call robots still couldn’t crack. The sound of a mother crying for her child.
I forgot where I was in that moment, the walls disappeared around me, and I felt free for the first time since that day, even if it was just for a fleeting moment in time.