When the dead almost answered me from the hereafter
And during the over decade long that I have been a subscriber, and owing to my line of work, I’ve added so many contacts that nearly all SIM cards have run out of storage space necessitating saving new numbers on my Google contact storage.
The other day, I was going through the phonebook not sure which contact I was looking for. There are some contacts I had never engaged in years and I wondered if they were still active. It was high time I updated the phonebook to make room for new contacts. What is the use of having so many contacts but only engaging will less than ten even in a month?
As I was scrolling down the contact list, my finger froze at a contact saved under a familiar name. It happened to be a number of a deceased friend who bowed out of this earthly stage like five years back. Why I had forgotten to delete it for that long escaped me. I was about to bin it when I decided otherwise, instead opting to call the number and see if it was still in service.
Question was, if the number was still operational, would I be speaking with the soul of the departed in the hereafter? How would the voice sound? I cringed at the thought of an unearthly voice screaming to my ear as I dialed the number.
It was operational. My heart was racing and a cold sweat suddenly broke on my forehead. The phone rang on the other end for quite a time and I was wondering if the spirit of my departed friend was in a shock mode receiving a call from a living mortal!
I was about to hang up when the recipient picked up the call and said a heavy “hello!”
Did I nearly wet my pants? Well, maybe I nearly had a sudden watery bowel evacuation and my legs turned to jelly.
“Is this M-?” I asked. M being the surname of the long departed soul.
There was hesitancy at the other end. Perhaps M was trying recall or place my voice. At this moment I wondered if the souls of the dead have memory lapses and maybe needs to take some medications to relieve their same.
“Who is this?” the voice on the other end was pleasant, and sounded melodious like birds singing at daybreak. I breathed out hard, for I was expecting to be shocked to the extent of developing a heart attack.
Had M left a wife who inherited his phone line? I could not recall though he had a fetish for skirt wearers and sired a brood of wild oats scattered here and there. Maybe the pleasant lady was one of his clandestine lovers and I told her how the line belonged to my late friend and was checking if the number was still operational after accidentally bumping on it.
I heard her breath out loudly, perhaps exhaling from the near shock of her own, and asked where I was calling from, to which I proudly stated my home town name, and she was like, “I too comes from same town, but I currently lives in coastal areas. As for M, I have had never heard anybody like that from Adam!”
We had a bit of chit chat, to which she said her line was less than three years in use. I concluded the telco company to which the line belonged had simply recycled it back to the network after being dormant for long.
How does one feel after storing the contact of a loved one for long and out of blue calls that number as in recalling the fond memories and a phone rings somewhere and a stranger’s voice answers it? Would not it be wise for telcos to deactivate such lines permanently instead of recycling them back to the network?