Nikki's mom had just passed away, but she didn't know. She was overseas, at her home with her daughter and her husband.
Nikki had spent the last two weeks with her mom back in India, but had to leave because of the work pressure.
Her mom didn't want her to leave, "Nikki, please, don't go! Please don't!" "Mom, I have to.
I will be back again in a week, I promise", said Nikki hesitantly, because she knew she wouldn't be back in a month or two.
Nikki looked at her sisters who were standing right behind her and they looked back at Nikki in tears. "Gabriel, Cadence and Ari are here for you, mom.
Why do you need to worry a bit when they are here?" Nikki held her mom's hand. "I don't know these ladies, you are my one and only daughter, please, don't leave!" her mom held her tight.
All of the sisters looked at each other with pain in their eyes as their own mom couldn't recognize her own daughters. Age had caused her memory to fade away like camphor. "Okay, I won't leave.
You rest now", Nikki smiled with tears in her eyes. "No, I know when I fall asleep, you will flee away! I am not going to rest!" replied her mom.
"No, my sweet Betty Boop, I won't leave" laughed Nikki hiding her lie, which all the sisters knew she had to lie. "Mom, I will leave if you don't rest." Nikki lied again with despair.
"Promise you won't leave?" asked her mom looking straight into Nikki's eyes. "No mom. I promise, I won't leave", Nikki lied one last time.
"Fine, if you say so", her mom closed her eyes in gullibility. In 15 minutes or so, she was in deep sleep and Nikki left, telling Ari to held onto her mom's hand.
The next week Nikki received a letter regarding her mom and how she was in complete shock on her departure. Cadence, Nikki's sister, was telling how she remembers no one except Nikki.
Their mom wouldn't let them touch or let anyone near her and wouldn't eat after the tremendous damage that was done to her trust and heart.
Present night, Nikki was in a trance like state while thinking of her mom. She wanted to go to her mom so bad, but couldn't. Suddenly, the phone rang. Nikki looked at the caller Id.
It was from India, but no name was mentioned on the number. Not only that, the number was odd, it was a big digit number, with random symbols and signs.
She thought it might be a telecom service number, but picked it up anyway. "Hello?" Nikki asked. Silence. "Hello, can you hear me?" Nikki asked again. Her husband signed her asking who it was.
Nikki shrugged her shoulders at him. Then, there was voice, "Nikki..." It sounded like her mom. Nikki was in disbelief.
"Mom can't dial my number! She doesn't even know what my number is!" she thought to herself. "Mom?" she asked the voice. Again, utter silence.
"Whoever thinks this is funny, know that this isn't!" Nikki yelled at the voice. "Nikki.....Hello....." the voice spoke weakly. "Nikki......", it kept whispering slowly.
"Mom? how did you call? And how did you get my number? And what type of number is this? " Nikki asked the mom-like voice. "Take care, puppy" the voice said.
Now, Nikki was shocked and felt the whole world shake, tremble and circle around her. The word ' puppy' was said only by her mom and only for Nikki. The call ended.
Nikki kept the phone down and slowly sat down on the floor. "What happened? Who was it?" her husband asked. "My mom...." Nikki whispered deeply in shock, disbelief and grief.
"Wait, what? Your mom? How is it even-" he stopped as he looked at Nikki, who was staring into the distance. Both sat down into the silence of the living room.
The silence didn't last long as the phone rang again. Nikki wiped her tears and stood up and answered the phone hesitantly, fearing it might be her mom again.
This time she didn't even look at the caller Id. "Hello?" Nikki whimpered. "Nikki, its mom- Mom passed away", Cadence told.
"What kind of sick joke are you and Gabriel playing?" Nikki demanded an answer. "Excuse me?" Cadence asked.
"Just because Gabriel's voice matches with mom's and just because you three know what she used to call me, doesn't mean you can fool me around to make me come back" Nikki yelled.
"I don't know what your work seniors said to you or what kind of weird alcohol you are on, but you really need to listen to me. Mom. is.
no more! You hear me! No more! And if you don't get what I am saying, then for this time, come to India, and see it for yourself!" Cadence scolded. This was believable. Her tone was, at least.
"You wouldn't believe me, or might think that I am a psycho. But mom had called here." Nikki calmed down.
"Seriously, call me back when you are off of your drunk-weird-high state of mind" Cadence replied in total disbelief. "I am not drunk! Listen to me, please! When did she pass away?" Nikki asked.
"An hour ago! We couldn't imagine how you would react, but now we know!" Cadence scolded. "I will call you back later.." Nikki hung up.
"Jacques! Please tell me, did you hear the conversation I had with the mom-like voice?" Nikki turned to her husband.
"I didn't hear the other side, but I heard you and the phone ringing" Jacques told in confused state. "Let's check the call history" Nikki said to herself.
She redialed that number and it told that that number is either wrong or does not exist.
"I am not able to-" Nikki stopped as she saw her 5 year daughter smiling and waving someone outside the window. "Who is it honey?" Nikki asked her. "Grandma.
She has to go she says, come wave her goodbye, mommy". Nikki came by the window and saw absolutely nothing but the open sky where her daughter was looking at.
She waved and got on her knees with nothing, but tears, guilt of not being there for her mom, grief and a broken heart.