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The Message

Lonni Evans

 

Ring...Ring...Ring...Ring...

     "Hi, you have reached the dorm room of Jason and Matt. We are not at home right now but if you leave your name, number, and a short message after the beep, we will get back to you when we can!"

     Beep

     "Jason, this is Bob. If you are there pick up the phone now. This is an emergency!"

     When hearing this, Jason jumped down from his loft, almost breaking his knees when he hit the floor.

     "Bob, what's going on? Why are you calling me at four in the morning?"

     "Jason, something has happened, and I need you to come home right away."

     "You know my first day of classes is tomorrow! I can't miss them. What is so important anyway that you need me to come home for?"

     "It's your mom...."

     The rest of the conversation Jason blanked out on. It was one of those things that he heard, but it didn't register right in his head. He immediately grabbed his Nike bag, which wasn't completely unpacked yet from moving in yesterday and threw some more things in it.

     "What are you doing?" questioned his roommate Matt who was wiping the sleepy stuff out of his eyes.

     All Jason could say now is that he had to go home because something terrible had happened.

     The ride home seemed to take forever. And worse yet, it was pouring rain. This was just too much for Jason to take and the tears began running down his face. "How could this have happened?" he thought to himself. He had just saw her yesterday when she and Bob helped him move in. She was smiling and cheery. You could tell how proud she was of her son for going to college. He just didn't understand why she had committed suicide.

     Immediately flashbacks began rushing through his head, leaving him with a sharp pain right between his eyes. He remembered back three years ago to his mom and dad's divorce. His mom was deeply depressed then, but that all changed when she met Bob. Her marriage to Bob was okay. One night, a couple of months ago, they got into a huge fight. They had been arguing a lot lately, but this particular one seemed especially bad. They were fighting over what they always got into it about- money. Things were going to be especially tight since Jason was going to college in the fall. His mom had went out that day and bought new furniture for the living room. He had never seen Bob so mad before. He gave his mother a look that night as though he could kill her. Ever since that fight, no matter what Bob tried to do to make it up to Jason, he couldn't. Things were never quite the same again between the two. He didn't think his mom ever deserved to be treated like that.

     "Honk. Honk." came the loud noise from a semi who Jason was now in the path of.

     "Whoa, that was a little too close," he said out loud to himself as he swerved back into his own lane.
 

     Here came the moment that he was not looking forward to since he got off of the phone with Bob. He pulled his blue Cavalier into its normal parking spot for the last three years and took a look at the large, brick ranch where he had lived since he was a child. Little chunks of the yellow police CAUTION tape around the front door caught his eye immediately. As he was stepping out of his car, he saw neighbors staring at him from behind their curtains. By the time he made it to the front porch, Bob was standing there with the door open in his white dress shirt and slacks. He immediately put his hand on Jason's shoulder and helped him into the house.

     The first thing he saw when he came in the house was the bright red blood stain on the creme carpet in the living room. This sent Jason into shock and shot him back into reality knowing that this was not a dream.

     "I am sorry. I haven't exactly had time to clean that up yet," Bob explained apologetically. "Why don't you go sit in the kitchen and get yourself something to drink. That will give you some time to settle down. I will be in to talk to you in a couple of minutes after I finish a few things."

     Jason decided to listen to him and pushed open the swinging door to the kitchen. When he turned back around, he quickly glanced at Bob who was fumbling with his Double Indemnity book.

     "How could he be reading at a time like this?" Jason thought to himself. His eyes were drawn down to the blood stain on the carpet and he immediately felt sick to his stomach.

     While waiting for Bob, Jason sat down and rested his head on the table. He didn't know how he could possibly go on living without his mom. They always had a special connection between them, they were like best friends. He was never afraid to tell his mom anything and vice versa. This is why her suicide didn't make sense to him. He did not understand why she didn't talk to him and tell him what was bothering her. But most of all, he didn't understand why she would take her own life and leave him there, alone.

     The creaking sound of the kitchen door made Jason lift up his head.

     "What happened?" Jason squeaked, which was all he could manage to say.

     Bob sat down and told him about how he had been away on a business trip selling computers for the company he worked for. When he returned home early this morning, he found his mom dead in the living room. She had used the pistol that was kept for their protection in Bob's top dresser door. There had been a suicide note saying that she didn't want to live another day and that she loved both of them. No one knew why she did it.

     "I called you first thing after I talked to the police."

     "Have you called my father? I really need to see him."

     "I gave him a call this morning and talked to his secretary. He is giving a speech in Chicago. She was going to page him and let him know. I am sure that he will call you as soon as he can."

     The numbness that Jason had felt earlier returned to his body, and he went to go lay down in his bed for awhile. After what seemed like hours, he dozed off feeling completely exhausted.

     The presence of someone else in the room made him wake up after only sleeping for about an hour. When he opened his eyes, there stood his mom at the end of his bed. Her body was pale and seemed to let out a glowing light.

     "Mom, is that really you?"

     But she didn't say anything. She only stood there crying letting the tears flow down her cheeks. She tried to talk to him and touch him, but something kept her voice from coming out. When she started stepping closer to him, she began to slowly fade away.

     She stood motionless until there was a knock at the door and Bob's voice asked him if he could come in. With that, she was gone and Bob came in his room.

     "Who were you talking to?"

     "I must have been talking in my sleep. It was just a dream. Just a dream."

     "Well you need to get up. We need to go to Merit Funeral Home and arrange some other things."

     After he shut the door, Jason fell back down in his bed. The vision he had of his mom seemed so real and so did the feeling that he got from her presence. He thought that she was trying to tell him something, but she couldn't speak. He didn't really believe in ghosts and convinced himself that it must have been a dream.

     Jason heard the phone ring and Bob's voice yelling, "Jason, telephone call for you."

     "Hello."

     "Hi Jason. How are you holding up son? I am so sorry that this had to happen to you. I just want you to know that I will be there for you and that I am taking the first flight back home."

     "I really need you here. I can't believe she's gone."

     "I know, I know. Neither can I. I promise you that when I get home, things will be different. Well, I have to go and finish this conference. I should be home sometime early tomorrow. If you need me, I gave Bob the number. Remember that I love you."

     "I'll see you tomorrow then. Bye."

     Jason really hadn't seen a lot of his dad lately. He was always gone on business and would give him a quick ring wherever he was, letting him know that he still cared. Jason had grown to accept his parent's divorce but still wished that they were together as a family.

     "Dad would have seen this coming. If Dad were still here, he would have known that something wasn't right with Mom and then she would still be with us," Jason muttered outloud to himself.

          That night after everyone had left his house, he returned to his room. He was sick and tired of hearing people say they were sorry, even though he knew this was completely normal after a death of a family member. He laid on his bed, but he couldn't sleep. All he could think of was how much he missed his mom. He knew that he was never going to see her again and wished he wouldn't have gone to college. Maybe if he would have stayed home, his mother wouldn't have killed herself. It was all his fault.

     Suddenly a glowing light appeared and Jason saw his mother standing at the end of his bed again. Only this time he hadn't been sleeping and was fully awake.

     "It's not your fault," his mother's soft voice said. She tried to say more, but couldn't. Her lips would move, but no words were able to come out. She stood there with tears running down her cheeks and couldn't stop crying. Only this time she was holding Bob's Double Indemnity book in her hands. She repeatedly looked down at the book and then at him. Then she was gone.

     Jason knew what he had just saw had to be real. But why had his mother's ghost come to him? Why was she holding Bob's book?

     "Wait a second. That was the book that Bob was messing around with the day that I got back. What does this book have to do with what she was trying to tell me?" he thought to himself.

     He decided that the only way for him to get this off of his mind was for him to go and take a look at this book. When he got downstairs, he went straight to the living room where he saw the rug that was covering up the red spot on the carpet. He almost turned away and went back upstairs, but something told him not to. He quickly grabbed the book and headed upstairs.

     Jason sat on his bed and flipped through the book. When he pulled it up to his face, a piece of paper slid out. He began to look at the paper and realized that it was a life insurance policy receipt. When his mom and Bob got married a couple of years ago, Bob took out a $500,000 life insurance policy on her. Why is it that no one had ever mentioned anything to him about this? He ran the book back downstairs to the shelf where it had been. Tomorrow he would ask Bob about this. Tomorrow after the funeral, he would talk to Bob.

     The next morning, Jason got up pretty early. He had so much on his mind right now that he couldn't sleep. He looked around for Bob, but he was nowhere to be found. He heard familiar voices right outside the window and went to see who it was. When he peered out the window, he saw Bob and his ditzy, blonde colleague Sally. Bob was still in his house coat and slippers. He watched him give Sally a quick kiss on the lips before she left.

     "What is Sally doing here this early and why did Bob kiss her on the lips?" Jason asked himself out loud. He quickly ran upstairs before Bob came back inside. It was then that he decided not to mention seeing his mother to Bob.

     While Jason was up in his room, he couldn't help but think of his mom. When he was little and would have bad nightmares, his mom would be there to comfort him. She made a promise to him that she would always be there for him. When the tears came streaming down Jason's face he heard the door click and he looked up. There was his dad.

     They went down to the kitchen and began talking. His father brought up some good times, but no matter what, they always led to his mother.

          The funeral was terrible. Jason just didn't think that it was right to say good-bye to his mom yet. He wasn't ready- especially after he saw her last night. He knew that something wasn't right. But he couldn't exactly come out and tell everyone that his mom's ghost has been visiting him at night. They would think that he was crazy. When he didn't say much to his father, he just thought that Jason was trying to keep his feelings bottled up inside.

          A couple of days passed and his mom's ghost hadn't been to see him since the night before her funeral. Jason's dad had to go to San Diego on another business trip but would be back in a couple of days. The feeling of being alone soon entered his body.

          The night before he was supposed to head back to school, his mom appeared on yet another sleepless night. This time she wasn't crying and she was holding some kind of letter.

     "What is it that you have?"

     But it was no use. She still couldn't talk to him and tell him what it was. She sat down at the desk in his room and began writing on the piece of paper.

     "What? Are you writing some kind of note or letter?"

     She nodded her head yes.

     "I know, it is the note that you left for Bob and I!"

     A slight smile came across her face and she disappeared again.

          After he had his car loaded the next morning and was ready to go back to school, Jason asked to see the note that his mom had left them. Bob looked a little puzzled but handed it over willingly. The note looked like his mother's handwriting from a distance, but as he looked at it closer, he knew that it wasn't. The way that her name was signed is what gave it away. Jason had watched his mom sign her name a million times on checks and notes and he knew that this was not at all how she signed it. Not knowing what to do, he said good-bye to Bob and started back up to school.

     After he'd been on the road for about five minutes, the picture of his mom crying kept on flashing into his mind leaving him with another splitting headache. Only this one was worse than the one he had earlier. His head hurt so bad that he had to pull over to the side of the road. He rested his head on his steering wheel and closed his eyes. As soon as his eyes were shut, Jason starting having a horrible dream. In this dream, he saw Bob and his mom fighting. Bob got so furious that he ran upstairs. When he came back downstairs, he pulled a gun out from behind his back. There was now a look of terror in his eyes. When his mom saw this, she started begging.

     "No, Bob! Please don't do this. I am sure that we can work things out. I promise that I will never do anything wrong again. Please Bob! NO!"

     But it was no use. A loud shot rang out and this is what makes Jason wake up. The dream seemed so real. Everything was clear to him now. He turned the car around and headed back to his house, giving a quick glance at the rearview mirror. There he saw his mother's hazel eyes looking at him. Everyone had always told him that he had his mother's eyes, but he never believed them until now. He knew that he couldn't just go back home, so he turned off and went in the direction of the police station.

     When he returned home after stopping by the police station, he saw Sally's red car parked in the spot he had just left twenty minutes ago. He stormed up to the house.

     When he opened the front door, Bob and Sally were doing a little bit more than kissing on the living room couch.

     When Bob saw the look in Jason's eyes, he realized that Jason knew the truth.

     "How could you?" Jason asked with fire in his eyes.

     "Now Jason, lets not go and get all upset. I have a reasonable explanation for all of this!"

     "You have a reasonable explanation for killing my mother? Didn't you care about her at all? Or did you just kill her for the $500,000 that you would get from the life insurance policy?"

     All Sally could do is sit there with a puzzled look on her face as she was buttoning up her blouse.

     "Listen you little brat, I don't know how you figured this all out! I wish now that I would have finished you off too." Bob said not noticing the police filing in the door behind him.

     "So why did you do it? How could you kill someone if you loved them?"

     "I never loved her. Can't we just keep this between us? We can split the money- fifty fifty. So what do you say?"

     Jason didn't need to say anything. Bob was so fixed on yelling at him that he didn't even notice the two police officers entering behind him. When Bob turned around, he knew that he had just exposed his plan. The look on his face was something that Jason will never forget.

     With the overwhelming evidence against Bob, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Sally turned out to be the best witness for the case. No one ever figured out how Jason found all of this information. He never told anyone about the visits from the ghost of his mom. No one would probably ever believe him anyway.

     After the trial was over, Jason decided to visit his mom's grave and say good-bye to her. When he walked away from her grave, he turned around and saw her glowing body standing there smiling.

     The words, "I'll always be there for you," echoed through his head.
 
 

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank my Creative Writing class for all of the helpful suggestions that you gave me on my paper. You have really helped me with the development of my paper. I would also like to thank my mom for critiquing my paper and giving me great ideas! Your work means a lot

to me and does not go unappreciated! Thanks again!



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