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Fate had painted a bull’s-eye on my back. The ironic thing, I didn’t believe in fate or karma before my brother left a message on my office’s answering machine that was the equivalent to Armageddon dropping a line just to say hey. Being the self- designated, birdie-flipper of fate I had to know if listening to the message would be like Darth Vader-’Phoenix, I am your brother.
After six years of silence, only one reason would have made Samuel call me. Earlier this week the family had been going through the family bible, and would I mind if they whiteout my name?
But, no, instead of letting the call stay a mystery I helped fate change my course, and pushed that stupid button to listen to the message. At least to my credit, I braced myself to hear what my brother had to say.
"I really don’t want to leave this message, but I don’t think you would call me back." He paused, and it felt like one of those moments that last a lifetime.
“Mom died last night.”
Maybe I didn’t hear him right, but from the way the air left the room I think I did. I was sure I heard Samuel right when my limbs felt heavy from the weight of them. The words "Mom" and "died" refused to come together in my mind. I moved slowly as if in water. I saw my hand push the button to save the message. The cold plastic against my finger brought me into reality for a moment. I unplugged the machine from the wall.
Definition of something bad: A woman you haven’t talked to in six years, who happened to give birth to you, is dead.