When was the last time you wondered where one thing was at all times?
I’ll answer for you. It’s your phone. You always need to know.
It’s morning, and I wish I were still asleep so this hangover would have a few more hours to deteriorate. I haven’t opened my eyes yet, but I feel the sun.
I don’t usually get hangovers, but the pounding is a cheeky reminder. I guess I went a bit overboard last night.
I’m finding pleasure in pushing the boundaries.
I pick my head up and see the blood on my pillow where my nose was.
Damn. I have lunch with my brother at 11:30 am. What time is it?
I start feeling around for my phone, but can’t find it. Not under the pillow, not under the blanket. I should check the pockets from last night. Not in there either.
I can go without it.
I’m about 20 minutes late. As I sit down, I see my brother with a black coffee and I gulp down half of mine.
He asks, “Where the hell have you been man? I’ve been calling and texting you this whole time.”
“I know, I’m sorry. I don’t know where my phone is.” I say.
Then I remember what this lunch is about. What all these lunches are always about.
My issues with self-destruction, self-loathing, and the pain I‘m not only causing myself, but the whole family.
“Especially mom. For fuck’s sake; think about her.” As he speaks, coffee mixed with some saliva comes flying out towards my face.
He goes on for another 10 minutes, but my head is killing me and I’m trying to think where my phone might be.
I know I had it at the bar. I was playing trivia with the bartender for drinks and I used it to look up answers. That was early on. Then, of course, there was the text from my mom. I remember getting that.
After that, things get blurry.
“Jim, are you even listening to me?” he asks. “You look like two people are having a conversation in your head. Fucking listen.”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I feel like shit dude and it’s hard to concentrate while dodging the spit and coffee coming out of your mouth.”
“Fuck off. I don’t have time for this. I’ll see you later.”
He gets up and leaves. Why am I seeing him later? And what did we just talk about? And where the hell is my phone?
I get back in the car after, thoroughly searching it. Not in there, either.
It has to be in the apartment, so I head back that way.
As soon as I walk in, my roommate stops me and bursts into conversation.
“Dude, are you good?” he asks. “You were going crazy last night. You basically broke down the door at like, 4:30 am - and when I came out you just grabbed my face, looked right in my eyes and said, TURN THE PAGE.”
“Really? Damn. I don’t remember any of that.” I said.
“Have you seen my phone? Or did I say anything about, like, where I was coming from?” I asked.
“Nah, you just stared at me like you were looking into a mirror. You were sketching me out, but I think you just went in the room and passed out.”
As soon as he said mirror, Olivia popped in my head.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty that was straight out of Narcos; no wonder my nose was pissed. She grabbed my night and took a hard right turn.
She was hot, and she had a ton of drugs. Naturally, she was my type.
It was all coming together now.
The drink, the drugs, the eyes, we ended up back at her place.
I couldn’t tell you what happened after that, but I know my phone is there.
I get in the car and drive over there. Honestly, I’m lucky I remember where she lived. Her place was as nice as I don’t remember.
She let me in and there it was. Not my phone, but the reason my memory triggered. The mirror.
She had my mom’s old mirror. Nothing special. Circular with gold trim leading up to the top, where a baby angel was holding her own circular mirror.
I had no idea how or why she may have had it, and I didn’t ask.
I must have been staring at it for a while. When I came to she was tapping me hard with my phone.
“Jim! JIM! Are you okay? Here’s your phone,” she said. “You have a ton of text messages.”
“Thanks.” I whispered.
As soon as I held it I could feel something was wrong. All the messages were from my brother.
Jim – sorry about this morning. Just please get yourself together before you see Mom at 2 pm.
Shit! That’s why he said he’d see me later. The text from mom – we were going in to see her today.
We’re all waiting for you, you almost here?
Dude where are you??!?! They just kicked us out of the room. Something’s happening with her vitals, there are doctors everywhere.
A tear dropped onto my phone screen and blurred the text.
As I walked up to her hospital room, my brother was sitting on the floor outside the door. They had already taken her away. I sat down next to him.
He grabbed my hand and put a small piece of paper in it.
“What is this?” I asked.
“She gave it to me right before they kicked us out and told me to give it to you.” He said. “When was the last time you talked to her?”
“She texted me last night and told me she loved me. I didn’t respond, though” I said.
He stood up and as he was walking away said, “standard.”
The front of the small piece of paper just said, JIMMY.
I opened it and my stomach dropped.
Turn the page.
My mom was the best woman I knew.
No matter what, she’d say, the other side is blank.
You can reinvent your life.
Turn the page.