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Hello? [Pause] Oh hello, Mom. How did you know I was here? [Pause] Oh, you didn’t? [pause] No, I’m not in L.A. We’re in Laguna. [Pause] No, Irma’s not with us. Irma’s home cleaning. [Pause] Yes, the girls have their sunblock on. [Pause] No, they’re not in the pool. They’re in the ocean. [Pause] Yes, I’m sure it’s safe. [Pause] No, you can’t talk to them now. [Pause] Later? Yes, later. [Pause] No, no one’s here that you know. [Pause] Yes, we’ve met some nice people. [Pause] No, I didn’t take down their phone numbers. [Pause] No, we haven’t had dinner with any interesting couples… or families. [Pause] Do we need anything? [Pause] Mom, we’re fine. Everything’s fine. I’ll talk to you when we get back. [Pause] No, DON’T CALL US IN THE CAR! [Pause] What? Did you say something? Did you say something else, Mom? I can’t hear you. [Pause] It’s not very important? Well, tell me anyway. [Pause] Dad had a heart attack? Dad had a heart attack? Oh my God, is he all right? [Pause] You thought he was dead? [Pause] You drove him all the way to the hospital thinking he was dead? Oh my God, how awful! [Pause] You didn’t drive him? [Pause] Oh, the ambulance took him. Still, all that time in the ambulance until you got to the hospital. That’s a long time with someone you thought was dead. [Pause] What? You weren’t riding with him? Mom, are you sure he’s not dead? [Pause] You’re sure? Oh my God this is terrible! Why weren’t you with him? [Pause] You.. thought.. it.. would.. be.. better.. to.. stay.. home.. and.. wait.. for.. the.. doctor.. to.. call.. you? Mom, are you sure everything’s okay? [Pause] He had an angioplasty? Oh my God! [Pause] But he’s all right now? [Pause] It didn’t work? So he’s dead? Is that what you’re trying to say, Mom? Are you trying to tell me that dad’s dead? [Pause] Open heart surgery? Bypass? [Pause] Where are you, Mom? [Pause] At home? [Pause] You.. wanted.. to.. make.. sure.. he.. was.. going.. to.. make.. it.. before.. you.. went.. to.. see.. him? Jesus, Mom. He could have died! Why didn’t you call me? [Pause] I know you just called me. But you asked me about Irma and sunblock and interesting couples. And THEN you told me about dad. I was about to hang up. Why did you wait so long? [Pause] You.. didn’t.. want.. to.. spoil.. my.. nice.. vacation? MOM, you didn’t even know I WAS on vacation! CALL ME IN THE CAR!

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You can find more stories by Danna Colman here.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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