In The Hollow Of His Hand
At quarter past midnight, I received a disturbing message from Bee – ‘Hello Charis, call me when you read this message.’ This was so unlike her; so, I closed my book.
I couldn’t ignore the message although I had an exam for nine that morning…
I dialed her number…
“Hello dearie” Bee said, trying to sound very calm…
“Hi Bee” I answered.
“I am sorry for sending you the message so late into the night…” She began.
“It’s okay. Are you okay?” I interrupted.
“I am fine…” She said.
“Are the kids okay?” I interrupted again.
This time I was overcome with fear as I thought of the worst thing that could have happened.
“They are fine; it’s your dad” she replied.
“Pop??!!!” I screamed forgetting that I had a sleeping roommate and asked, “What happened to him?”
“First things first; when last did you speak with him?” She asked.
“About five days ago. He sounded off. When I asked him if he was okay, he said he was okay and said he was just stressed from work.” I responded in an impatient manner.
“Oh that explains it.” She said and kept mum.
“Explains what?” I asked as my impatience grew every second.
“Why were you awake?” She asked.
What’s the correlation? Why does that matter?
“I was studying. I have an examination for nine in the morning.” I replied.
Can she just tell me already?
“Oh I see! I should have just held my peace since you will be home shortly, right?” She said in a bid to change the topic of discussion.
“Yes, I will be home shortly; in about four weeks’ time. Bee, can you just tell me already? What happened to Pop?” I blurted out.
“Okay… promise me that you won’t lose your cool…” She said.
“I won’t” I responded.
“A week ago, on my way home from an evening walk with the kids, I saw your dad and a lady in her mid-forties at the front porch. From a glance at the scene, I could tell that they were engaged in a heated conversation. I hurriedly took the children in so that I could watch the turnout of events from my window. After about fifteen minutes, the lady entered her car and drove off; leaving your dad standing on the front porch. He stared into space for about ten more minutes probably hoping that she would return. When he saw that her return was not in view, he stepped in.” Bee said.
“And???…” I asked her, and waited expectantly even though my stomach had begun to rumble.
My stomach rumbled each time I was unsettled.
“For the past one week, I observed that he always returned late at nights.” She said.
“How late?” I asked.
“As late as eleven in the night.” She replied.
“What??!!!” I yelled and continued, “Bee, can you do me a favour?”
“Okay, what is it?” She asked.
“Can you please check up on him as often as you can till I return?” I pleaded.
“That is not a problem, but who would I tell him that I am?” She replied.
I didn’t even think about that. I probably wasn’t even thinking properly.
“Uhmm… Tell him that you’re my friend and that I sent you to check in on him.” I replied.
“I don’t know about that but there is no harm in trying.” She said.
Her response gave me an atom of hope.
“Thanks Bee. I do appreciate this and thanks for informing me of Pop.” I replied.
“You’re welcome. I guess I should let you resume reading. Take care of yourself and I will keep you posted.” Bee concluded.
“I will; you too. Thanks.” I replied and I hung up.
In the Hollow of His Hand continues…