The Phonebooth at the Edge of the Lake
The Phonebooth at the Edge of the Lake3 mins 237 3 mins 237
The crummy old-fashioned telephone booth at the lake's edge was painted with a vivacious streak of red. Dad had said so the last time he called. Unlike the shade of red that I had been accustomed to. Splitting red blood had become the color of my dreams now, the color of the sky that enveloped my universe and the fabric of my rage that existed within me since losing my eyesight three years ago. Like a meteor shower, my happiness shone with a short marvelous brilliance and then died away. Why would the world be so cruel to a 10-year-old? Disaster was being written, and I couldn't look away.
Dad would be calling any time soon, from the booth that overlooked that placid lake he so eloquently described with its luminous fishes and magical mermaids. He would talk extensively about the long walk, circling the lake's entire length to get to the booth to speak with me and how it was all worth it. His call was that tall bridge that helped me cross the ocean of darkness and uncertainty every week. He spoke of his travels and visits around the world. Of sights and sounds that my eyes yearned to see, albeit for a brief few seconds, but in those seconds, life was life again, filled with the radiance of vision as the rising sun. He spoke of visits to British antiquarian museums adorned with rare artifacts atop exquisitely veined marble floors and of bustling flea markets in Istanbul that sold the most exquisitely draped carpets in the world. He would speak about vanilla toasted marshmallows and spongy pink iced cakes that he would get for me the next time he would visit home. It had been three years since I had seen him. In the middle of the night, that day, he had suddenly left unannounced to an unknown place. Though I couldn't see him now even if I wanted to, his finely weathered face with that smile that could illuminate a dying black hole stayed. If only I could have a glance at it today.
Today is my birthday and is incidentally the day I miss him the most. Why hadn't he called yet? Did he forget? I bit furiously at my chewie, my fingers twitchy, and my brow filled with sweat underneath the scorching sun. Mum had rudely been awakened from her daily lie down due to little Mikey chucking a wobbly over his missing toy. This was the chance I needed. I just had to get hold of mum's phone. Nat, my best mate in the whole world, had given me that idea of surprising him. I could call him back instead. Now with mum being distracted, I finally had her cell in my hand. I dialed dad with bated breath.
"Thaks for calling Barwon Lakeside County Jail," a gruff voice spoke at the other end. I gasped.