I’m pretty bad at answering texts. I almost always miss any phone call. I think it has something to do with never knowing where my phone is. I’m entirely absent minded. When I find my phone I often see that my brother Mike had called. From there it’s a 50/50 chance that I call him back. I’m not a great brother. A lot of times, Mike just calls to check in. He doesn’t have any real reason to call, he’s just calling. And that’s really sweet, but to me, for some reason, talking on a phone is really really painful. I’m not good at it. I don’t like it. It seems like a tool that is not meant to be used at random. Give me a reason to talk and then I will. Even then, I like to keep it brief. It probably stems to my teenaged years, when I’d talk to girls for a real long time and my dad would call me a girl for doing so.
Anyway, since I didn’t respond to his last call I figured I better answer this missed call.
“Hey Mikey. What’s up?”
His voice was clouded by something. Phlegm? Sadness? It sounded like a bit of both. He said how we was doing but I couldn’t make it out. “… So I’m just waiting to get in.”
“What’s that? You’re where?”
“Well I was watching Finn and I felt really hot so I went outside to get some air and I blacked out. So now I’m at the hospital waiting to get stitches.”
“You fainted? And hit your head?”
“Yeah. I’ve been sick so I haven’t been eating.”
“Well… I’ve not been eating much.” Mike lives at home with my parents. Only my parents have been away for the last couple months. I wonder if he’s sick because he has no one to take care of him.
“Jesus. Are you alright?”
“Yeah. They’re going to take my blood. Hopefully it’s nothing.” Mike gets really worried about everything. He’s really accident prone. He’s had some health issues. I think the real reason he was calling was to get some reassurance. Put his mind to rest.
“I’m sure it’s… like you said, not eating enough.”
“Shit. Well. I hope everything’s okay. I’m sure it is.”
“I’m sure it is. Yeah. So they’re putting four stitches in my forehead and some in my nose. Or they’re taping my nose.”
Even though I didn’t know what that meant, taping his nose, I thought I could figure it out on my own. “Ok. Well…” that’s my signal for ‘ I’m sure we’ve covered the basics. I don’t think I can talk much more on the phone.’
“Alright.” Mike agreed. “I’ll talk to you later.”
“Ok. ” I said. “I hope… I hope you’re fine.”
A day has passed. I haven’t followed up.