A call to a conscience

Phoebe G

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You wake up in a stark white room. No doors, no windows, not even a scarcest trace of a light source. You sit up and feel that the only piece of furniture in sight is the mat under you. As you stand up, a ringing echoes around the small room. You turn and see your cellphone on a table that wasn’t there moments before. You rush over and answer the phone, recognizing that ringtone as the one for your best friend. “Hey! I’ve been trying to get a hold of you! Are you okay? You haven’t been answering my texts!” Comes the frantic voice of your friend. You try to respond but the phone hangs up, except…the end tone wasn’t the typical end-of-call ringing but a slow beeping. Beep…beep…beep…You put the phone down and step back. You remember now why your friend sounded so frantic. You were driving…driving where? It didn’t matter. You had picked up your cellphone to text…to text them back. You hadn’t seen the stoplight. Or the biker on the crosswalk. As you grab the table for support, the beeping coming from your phone grows louder and faster. You also hear faint voices…the voices of the dead?…no. Your family! You sit straight up in the hospital bed, giving yourself whiplash. Your mom places a hand on your forehead. You look at her frantically. “The biker…mom. Are they…are they okay?” She shares a look with the nurse at the end of your bed. You sink back into the pillows. You know that look. By picking up the phone, you ended someone’s life. It was no “accident”, as the news would portray it. It was a crash. All because you couldn’t leave a text waiting.