ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Phone Call From a Friend

Updated on April 22, 2015

It was one of the worst nights of my life, that night when you called me from that bar. You were drunk, of course, and who could blame you? An unloving spouse who had, in spite of your best efforts, cast you out. You felt like a burden to your daughter, in spite of your immense love, support and hard work, an embarrassment was the word you used. It broke my heart. The depression you had been struggling with finally overwhelmed you when she said those four awful words.

I want a divorce

And now there you were, alone, drunk, and still drinking. And there I was, hundreds of miles away, helpless to pull you back from the ledge you were approaching. I knew your pain, had watched it unfold over the years, always bearing it with a smile. Now the weight was too much, and there was no one to help you hold it. You thought you were less of a man for it. You were wrong. You were human, with a limit, a capacity, for how much pain one heart could hold. As you poured out that pain over the phone, my heart broke again. I wanted to badly to be there with you. To hug you, look you in the eye and tell you it would be ok, to know you believed me.

You told me you'd made up your mind. That you had said goodbye to your only child before you left, had apologized to her and told her to remember you love her. Any pretense I'd had that you were possibly "just upset" disappeared. I began to realize my old friend, one of few true kindred spirits, my family, was serious. That he wanted to, planned to, and had dedicated himself to ending his life. I pleaded, I got angry, I was hard on you, I pleaded some more. I was so certain if I could just say the right thing, I could bring you back. Remind you how much you are needed, how much you are loved. I told you to picture your daughter's face as they told her that her Daddy was never coming home. I was sure the imagery would get through. Certainly no one could imagine such a thing and continue on the path to suicide. You were so sure you were doing the best thing for her by being gone.

When you insisted on hanging up because you could hear my own young daughter crying in her crib, you were driving...and so drunk you could hardly focus on your own words.I told you over and over to park your car. You told me you did, but I wasn't convinced. I made you promise to call me in the morning. As if somehow that promise would tether you to this Earth, this life. You answered me vaguely, I demanded your promise. When you finally gave it, the moment I heard you say "I promise, I will call you in the morning.", it felt like a lie. I wracked my brain for something I could do, someone I could call, realizing as I scanned through contact and friend lists, that our one mutual friend was unreachable. I cried, desperate, terrified that it was happening that very moment.

One of the longest, worst nights of my life ensued as I lay away watching the clock, tears came and went, and when the first light of morning began to peek through my window, I picked my phone up off the nightstand and waited. And waited. When at last I could stand it no longer, exhausted and afraid of what the morning had brought with it, I sent you a text.

You promised to call in the morning.


Waiting. Waiting. I took a shower, the baby woke, I fed her, and I nearly leapt out of my chair when the phone buzzed.

I'm ok.

I want you to know that nothing short of my own wedding day, the birth of my daughter, seeing the goddamn Grand Canyon, has ever made my heart soar like those two words did. I don't know if anything I said to you helped, and I don't care. What I care about is my friend had made it through the darkest night and lived to see the dawn. And he will be ok.

No matter how bleak things are...remember you are loved, you are needed, and you, too, will be OK.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 

      2 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      You sound like the friend that everyone needs in their life.

    • Shanders profile imageAUTHOR

      Shannon Anders 

      3 years ago from Port Huron, Michigan

      Thank you, he is. This was just one of those things I needed to get out "on paper".

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm so glad your friend kept his word. I hope he's doing better now.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)