New York City, NY

Fiction: The Yellow Hibiscus Chapter II

Annelise Lords

It was 4:32 A.M. I pressed the redial button on the phone once again, but the line was still busy.

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Hibiscus in a diamond.Image by Annelise Lords

Two Days Earlier: Monday, April 20, 2015

The New York City subway system was unpredictable tonight. The train signals were behaving like a moody teenager. It took more than two hours to get home from Morris Park in the Bronx to my apartment on the Eastside in Manhattan. A trip I usually made in minutes on a typical night.

Stressed from the city’s daily grind, it took two cups of chamomile tea to calm my nerves before I climbed into bed. I knew the following day would bring more of New York’s unpredictability.

I’d only just entered dreamland when the ringing of the telephone disturbed my restless but much-needed sleep.

“Who the hell could be calling me at this hour?” I snarled, grabbing the telephone. I propped myself up on my elbow in the middle of a shuddering yawn. Still groggy, I glanced at my LED-lit caller ID beside me on the night table. It read ‘Unavailable.’ I could hear the hiss of heavy breathing as I picked up the phone, but no one spoke. As I attempted to return the receiver to its cradle, a voice said, “Miss Apika . . . Miss Shade?”

“Yes,” I answered gruffly.

“This is Sergeant Wade Willoby from the 59th Precinct in the Bronx. I am sorry to wake you, ma’am, but this is very important. It concerns your parents.”

“My who? What!” I asked, bolting to an upright position. “What’s wrong with my Mom and Dad?”

“I think I should come over and talk to you.”

I flung off the covers and sat on the edge of the bed.

“What’s wrong with my parents?” I insisted.

“Can you confirm your address, please?”

“Sure, but are they alright?” I demanded, my heart racing out of my chest as I gave him my address. I was about to ask another question, but I heard a click.

I stared at the phone for a second, then offered a silent prayer. I then dialed my parent’s home phone number. I was annoyed all over again that I had to return the two expensive smartphones I’d bought. Their house phone was busy. “What the . . . but . . they have call-waiting!”

I hung up and hugged myself as I was shivering, though not from the temperature in the room. I peeked at the clock. It was 4:32 A.M. I pressed the redial button on the phone once again, but the line was still busy. I guzzled a deep breath, trembling. My mom was an early riser. She could be on the phone? A voice suggested. But they have call-waiting! I said in torment.

Thank you for reading this piece. I hope you enjoy it.

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I don't limit myself, because I learn from the actions, choices, decisions, and life of everyone I know. I study and learn from all of my life's circumstances and situations, and also yours. My power of words is about life, awareness, the value, and the simplicity of commonsense, especially when it's not used. Life lessons are in everything we do. I will show them to you.

Poughkeepsie, NY
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