I’m in love with my cell phone. I always have it with me and at night it’s plugged in next to me on my night stand. I wasn’t always this way.
A couple of years ago when I was in college I was awoken by my phone ringing for the 16th time. Me being dumb just thought it was a telemarketer (it had happened before) so I didn’t answer it the previous 15 times. That was a mistake. I am annoyed enough now to answer and it’s my mom. My sister has been in an accident. She’s in the hospital. I fly out of bed and start shoving clothes on over my pj’s….not really paying attention or caring. Phone rings again. I slam it open (flippy phone at the time) and it’s my mom. HP was also in the accident and her family couldn’t get ahold of NP. NP and I grew up together. She is one of my closest friends. My heart dropped as my mom told me I needed to go to her dorm room and break down the door if need be. I calm down a bit and take off my pjs and put my clothes on normally. I grab my cell, my keys and wallet and fly out the door. I remember running people over on the stairs. I didn’t really care. They’d get over the bruises. I ran all the way across campus and winded I slammed into the front counter at her dorm and asked the receptionist which room she was in. I must have looked panicky because no questions were asked. The number was given to me and off I went. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out. I’m not a runner whatsoever. Usually I’m on my knees crawling and gasping for breath after a few minutes. Anyways, I bound up two flights of stairs, run down the hallway, tripping only once, and start pounding on her door. I slammed my fists against that thick wooden door for 5 minutes before NP finally opened. Her eyes were teary and she held her phone in her hands. She looks at me and starts saying, “No, no, no, no.” I didn’t know what to do so I hugged her. I told her what had happened and she called her mom. We went out to get some coffee while she waited for her family to pick her up. HP was being airlifted to the Minneapolis hospital. Neck fracture. My mother then called and said my sister was being transported to the St. Cloud Hospital and that she would call me when they had arrived so I was stuck on campus, restless, not knowing what to do with my hands for a couple of hours. I called the rest of my family to make sure that they all knew what was going on. So there I sat. And waited. Finally got the call to come to the hospital. Drove like a mad woman to get there and pretty much collapsed when I saw her. My baby sister was alive. That’s all the mattered. Fractured hips and road rash. She’s ok now…physically. I’m know there are mental scars that will always haunt her.
I know this is the reason my phone is glued to me. I panick when I don’t have it on me. The questions start to race…What if something happened? What if there was an accident? It gets so bad that I need to turn around and grab it if I don’t have it…making me late for whatever meeting or appointment I had.
Sometimes, I wish I didn’t need it with me all the time. The constant checking and worrying takes its toll. Sometimes, I want to shut it off and throw it in the drawer for a day. But I know that’s not possible for me. The possibility of guilt if something did happen would be too great for me to bear again.
Today I have decided to let Whizzer metaphorically kidnap my phone. I will keep in on vibrate and shove it in my desk drawer, promising myself not to look at it until break time. If it buzzes more than twice, I will look at it. I think it’s finally time I learn to let go a little bit. Time to learn how to breathe-release that rubber band around my chest centimeter by centimeter.