“Rolen!” His dad’s voiced shouted out. Rolen’s rapid eye movement slowed. “Rolen! Are you there?”
Rolen struggled to open his eyes. Rubbing them he answered, “Dad?”
“Rolen! Hey buddy, it’s Dad.”
“I’m coming, Dad. I was just out here in the shop. Let me get the lights and I’ll come right in.” Rolen, trying to gain his balance and clear the grogginess that had overcome him from his slumber, stumbled over to turn the lights on and turned the knob on the door.
“Hey, buddy, it’s me.”
Rolen’s fog cleared and he realized the voice was coming from the answering machine.
The voice was coming from the answering machine!!
Rolen touched it as if it was his dad’s own face in front of him and he was welcoming him home. His body covered in chills and goose-bumps, Rolen breathed in the voice - the voice he had been longing to hear.
“Hey Little Guy, I need you to find the phone for me, okay? I know Grandpa won’t ever pick it up. Can you do that for me? I want to talk to him. I want to talk to you too. Check over by the table with the lamp on it. Do you see it? Are you having fun with Paw-Paw? Did he take you down to the creek at all?”
His father paused for a moment. Rolen’s heart sank. He was soaking in every word remembering now when his dad left that message. It was about five years ago when Rolen was seven.
“Alright, don’t worry about,” the message continued. “Listen, son, I need you to make sure Grandpa listens to this message, okay? My car broke down. I need you to come and get me. Okay? Can you tell him that? I need you to come and get me. I’m where the old diner used to be. Come and get me. I love you, Little R.”
Click. End of tape.
Rolen’s eyes filled with tears. “I love you too, dad.”
And then Rolen thought again about the anger scale to which his father had mentioned. He was taught to put things in perspective. To rate his anger based on the situation.
His dad was missing…presumed dead by most. Rolen decided his anger was off-the-chart. He was livid.