The ring of a phone.
An unexpected name on the caller id.
Since my name starts with A-b, I generally expect unexpected calls to be butt dials. Happens a lot.
That moment of hope that it’s not. It’d be nice to hear from them.
And then that awful return hello. The moment you know this call was no accident. They’re about to give you bad news.
And the world stops.
An impossible amount of time passes. Yet no time passes. How can so much time fit into a breath? Not even a breath because in that moment you’ve forgotten how to breath.
It’s the longest, most horrible moment. How can so many tragic possibilities run through a brain in a split second? How can every person you love flash through your head in less time than it takes to finish the word hello?
And even still there’s that hope that it’s nothing. Even while your stomach drops through your feet and you try to remember what inhaling is for there’s still that glimmer that it’s all okay.
And then it’s not.
Everything is not okay and the world freezes. You hear the news and there’s nothing but the echoing of the words.
Then just as suddenly everything comes unfrozen and time makes up for lost time.
But that instant, right before bad news? How can an entire lifetime pass in less time than you can take a breath?