When the phone rings, she glances at the clock. 7:00. Not 6:50; not 7:05, or even 7:30. It is always, always 7:00. She has a love-hate relationship with her dad. He was never there for her when she needed him the most, but now it’s in reverse – he needs her. The half that loves him takes a deep breath and answers on the second ring.
“Hi, Dad. I know you want me to help you. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Just wrapping my head around everything is difficult enough.” She takes another deep breath and exhales slowly. “I’m doing my best and I’ll keep working on it.” She is wiping the tears from her eyes as she hangs up the phone.
Every night the phone rings. Even when she makes a point to hide under a hot shower, turn off the phone, or leave the house, she knows the phone rings at 7:00. And she knows that if she doesn’t answer, he will hang up before the answering machine clicks on and call again tomorrow.
7:00 - “Hi, dad. Got a call today from Aunt Millie bringing me up to date on the local gossip. It will be difficult for me to visit anytime soon. I have missed enough work, and now this issue with you is turning into another full-time job. I know I shouldn’t worry about money, but until things settle, it is my money that is getting tapped out, and I just don’t have it to throw out there to the universe.”
A few days later, she comes home late and the phone is ringing. “Not him,” she says in her head as she picks it up. It is after 8. “Hi, Julie, what’s up? You know I can’t do anything about that, don’t you? She is doing it because she knows it will eventually get to me. I can’t just jump in the car and be there in five minutes. You keep telling me what I need to do, when what I need right now is a good night’s sleep.”
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...ay, Karma’s a…well, you know the answer to that one. Phone reports from relatives trickled in that she went through all the money like water, eventually lost everything, and was drinking herself to death. She told anyone who would listen that no matter where she is, when it is 7:00 (not 6:50; not 7:05, or even 7:30) her phone will ring and car alarms sound off. Disconnected for nonpayment, the security alarm in the house would still sound the alarm at 7:00. The security company said it had to be faulty wiring, but removed it completely upon her insistence. People say she is just drunk out of her mind, fabricating tales fueled by the alcohol. But we all know what’s really happening. Dad is trying to fix it himself. His time of death – 7:00 pm. She would know. She was the only one there when she murdered him. Paybacks are….well, you know the answer to that one, too.
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