Tuesday 6th January 2009by Tina
Ever since Naomi and her dad fixed things up between them, they hardly get to talk to each other. It was not because she still had issues with her dad, or him with her. Yes, she admits that she is not as comfortable talking to her dad, unlike her older sister Ruth, but it’s not also because of that. She is just simply busy.
This is why she never gets her dad’s calls. He always seemed to call during the most inopportune time. Sometimes he calls when she’s in a meeting with her daughter’s teachers. Sometimes he calls her when she’s at work, or when she’s asleep. And sometimes, yes, she just doesn’t feel like talking, so she doesn’t answer.
Oh, there were the text messages here and there, and promises of meeting up for lunch or dinner, but Naomi was just too busy settling into her new life that she can hardly make room for her dad back into her life. She did get through the past four years without him, and him without her, so he should be able to understand.
It’s not like he could be easily called too. Naomi sometimes tries to call her dad, but she was often answered by voicemail. Her dad is also a busy man, and she understands when he doesn’t answer her call (although her sister, Ruth, always gets an answer, but Naomi doesn’t really mind that). Naomi could always leave a message in his voicemail, but she never felt like leaving a message in a machine. She’d rather send a text message than record her voice and pretend someone is listening.
Her dad is a different story, though. He lives on voicemail, and he leaves a message every time he calls anyone. She often finds her sister listening to her phone, on the voicemail messages left by their dad, but Naomi just couldn’t be bothered.
Until one day.
Naomi was feeling pretty bad and she stayed at home from work. She left her daughter with their neighbor until Ruth comes back from work so she wouldn’t catch Naomi’s fever. While she was lying down under the covers, trying to sleep, her phone rang. She took a peek at the caller ID and saw that it was her dad. She wanted to answer, really, but she didn’t want her dad to worry about her, so she left the phone ringing and snuggled deeper under her covers. The phone stopped ringing and Naomi wondered briefly if her dad left another voice mail message.
A few days later, Naomi was all better. She sat at her office desk, finishing some work. She realized that she had to call her sister and hit the speed dial button for her. To her surprise, she realized she hit the wrong button and instead dialed to her voicemail retrieval.
You have five new voice mail messages. Dial one to start retrieving them.
Naomi almost ended the call, but something made her press “1” instead. A computer voice read a number aloud, which she didn’t recognize. She was about to end the call again when she heard her father’s voice.
Hi Naomi. I heard you’re sick. Well…I hope you get better soon. If you need anything, please call me and I will make sure I answer it. I’m praying for your wellness, anak. I love you.
It was just a simple message and her sister has told her the same type of message at the same time, but somehow, hearing her Dad’s voice…it was very different.
Naomi ended the call, telling herself she’d retrieve the rest of the messages later. She punched some numbers onto her phone, waited for it to ring, praying that the voicemail would pick up instead. It did.
“Hi Dad,” she said softly, wiping away a tear that escaped her eye. “I know this is late, but I just heard your message, and I want to say…thanks. I wish I could have answered the phone then. And…anyway, that’s it. I hope to see you real soon. I love you.”