I am lying in a soft hotel bed as I stare at a digital clock on my night stand. The numbers say 8:58, and at 9:00 my plane is supposed to take off. I wait until the clock says 9:05, and I pick up the phone to call Charlie.
“Hey,” Charlie says, and his tone is mixed with happiness and confusion.
“I missed my plane.”
“Jesus Ann,” he grumbles. I can feel his head shake. “What are you going to do?”
“Well I already talked to the airplane company, and I booked a flight that leaves at 4 pm. All the earlier planes were full.” This is partly true, I did have a flight booked, but I have no idea how many people were on the earlier planes.
There is silence on the other end of the phone. I feel annoyed with Charlie because if I had really missed the plane, as Charlie thinks, he would have no right to judge me. I have to remind myself that I am the one who is in the wrong, and having a fight with Charlie is not the best way to get rid of my guilt. However, if I sound too apologetic he might get suspicious, so I say “ I’m sorry but it’s not the end of the world. You’ll see me tonight.”
“Your right, your right,” Charlie says. “It is just so irresponsible, but never mind. I guess give me a call when you are at the airport, and please try not to miss this plane.” I can feel Charlie shake his head again.
“Okay , bye” I say, and I hang up the phone before Charlie can say anything else. I get out of bed and walk towards the shower. The hot shower steam always relaxes my mind and allows me to think, and today is no exception. I contemplate my plan as the burning hot water rolls down my face. I need to take a taxi to the public library. I need to find a phone book that is at least thirty years old. I need to cross my fingers. Even though Mike had warned me that Kelly Myers’ number probably does not exist anymore, I still called it; and I felt incredibly stupid when an automated message told me it was disconnected. I begin to visualize what I will do once I find the address, but the water turns cold before I can finish my thought.
I am standing in front of the Salt Lake City Library, staring at the wooden doors, and wondering if I should go in. If I don’t go in, my mom’s life will forever remain a mystery, but if I actually step inside this library, I might discover something horrible. These wooden doors remind of the doors in the psychiatric hospital that Amy was at, and I remember also being scared to cross the threshold.
I was shocked when Amy tried to commit suicide. This was bubbly Amy, the same girl who enjoyed people watching and chewing her gum loudly. Out of the two us, most people would assume that it would be moody Annabelle who would try to exit life early. However, now that I am older (and have seen many lifetime movies), I realize the there had been signs of Amy’s depression. I remember we were sitting in my room, on a Wednesday afternoon, three months before her suicide attempt. Amy was flipping through a magazine, and all of a sudden she asked me, “do you ever feel empty?”
“You mean hungry,” I asked.
“Are you sure you’re not hungry?”
“Ann, I’m being serious. Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel absolutely no desire to get out of bed. As if someone had come in while you were asleep, and stolen all of your energy?”
“Yes, and then I eat an omelet, and I feel better.”
“I’m not talking about food.”
“Then what are you talking about?”
“I dunno, maybe I am talking about food. I sure am hungry. You have anything to eat in your house?”
When I recall that conversation I wonder if I really didn’t comprehend what Amy was trying to say, or if I had purposely misunderstood her. In a psychology class that I took, I learned that it’s impossible to stop a person if they truly want to commit suicide. However, those words have never made me feel better.
I call Mike. “Should I go in,” I ask.
“Yes. Mainly because I’m afraid if you stand there much longer, people might think you’re a stalker.”
“Do you think I’ll find anything?”
“But you own a bookstore, you should know how these things end.”
“That’s right, I own books, but I don’t write them. I enjoy hearing about adventures, but I can’t predict how they will end.”
“You really think people will think I’m a stalker?”
Mike laughs and says, “Just go in already.”
“Okay, I’m going in,” I say, and hang up the phone. I sigh, and just as I had done more than ten years ago, I stare at the ground and walk through the big wooden doors.