The shrillness of the phone pierces through the fogs of my dreaming, and habit forces me to grab it and check. It’s my father, just my father. Unthinkingly, I note the time and hit mute. It’s only 6pm, they said they would call after camp was over, status on the sick family dog. I fall back into dreams, the phone silent.
I wake again, on my own, night beginning to soften the brilliant blue sky, birds quieting down in the gloaming. I call my father, but there is no answer. No answer? At that time of day? Odd. Check messages.
There is a tightness in my father’s voice. A vagueness I recognize. I call my sister.
The cancer has returned.