Sorry for that phone call.
Ok…! Let me explain. I really did not mean to phone you today morning (or night your time). After struggling hard for years to suppress the urge to hear your voice, this is not exactly how I thought I would hear your voice again.
You understandably did not have my number and you struggled to recognize my voice. I talked to you as if we always talk, probably in memory of the time when you were the most frequently contacted person on my phone. Ironically, you still are in the top list. My social life hasn’t exactly flourished after you left.
Here is what happened. I had a dream. A dream with you in it, not the fantasy one in which everything has a fancy glow to it. This was a brutally realistic one like one of those O. Henry short stories. The house looked fancy though. It had elements from various houses I have lived over years. I have finally finished the photo wall I wanted in the left side wall in my bedroom. Photos from the trips all over the world were pinned in rough chronology on the jute string grid with wooden clips. You were downstairs. I was downstairs with you. I am not sure if it is the same house or two different houses in the top and bottom floors. We were having a conversation in what appears to be a living room. You had a gray apron on. Were you dusting behind the couch? I see that there is a growing patch of moisture on the corner of the room. I suddenly remember that I had a tap running on the top floor bathroom. I run out through the stairs (they were outside the living room and hence I think they may be separate houses) and reach the floor above and when I pushed the bathroom door open, water gushed out. The floor somehow looked wrinkly.. like how our finger tips feel like after spending hours at the beach. You came running upstairs and was helping me cleanup.
There was no accusation of me being irresponsible. There was no worry about the damage water did. There was no screaming. You were trying to help, no questions asked. I remember thinking to myself, that is so unlikely. In real life, this would never happen. That is so unlike you. This thought jolted me out of the dream.
I sat up in the bed gasping for breath from a dream that felt so real. Saw a photo of us together at the beach and thought what the hell, I am going to call you anyway. Took my new phone that I had set up yesterday. I noticed the clock widget. The four timezones I added on the clock widget somehow failed migration from the old phone and it just showed my current timezone and yours. That I thought is a sign to call you maybe.
I dialed your number. You picked up. You did not have my number nor did you recognize my voice. I spoke like we always spoke- with no introductions or explanations. We spoke about your baby. We spoke about friends who are still in touch. We spoke about friends who are not friends anymore. We spoke about time. We spoke about meeting in October.
Then I woke up again. The thought of meeting you after all these years sent a chill down my spine and it woke me up. I realize that I had a dream within my dream. I was talking to you in my dream. The flooded bathroom was from a dream in my dream. The left wall was empty. The photo wall is not done yet. The attic window threw a faint morning light on that empty wall. Then I heard your voice. I noticed that the phone was pressed to my ear. You said a hello again unsure if I was still on the line. It took me a while to realize I had actually dialed you. The phone call was real. I can hear your voice for real. My voice got stuck in my throat. I mustered up courage to speak to you fully self-aware. I have no idea which part of it was real and which was not. Been 6 hours and I still have no idea. I didn’t mean to call you.
I am sorry.