The call went to voicemail.
That’s a shame. It would have been nice to hear his voice one last time. And tell him what you wanted to say. But her phone was on silent and on the kitchen counter. She was watching TV in the den.
The message left was difficult to understand. So loud. So much wind rushing over the phone’s microphone as he yelled into it. Tough to tell what he was screaming. But you could make out those three words. In between the rush, the roar of the wind. The words “I love you” were all that could be deciphered.
And then the message ended. It only lasted 18 seconds.
Funny. Crazy really when you think about what it took to make that call. Impossible is another word. More appropriate. The breaking news report was the first indication that life, the world had changed. Later reporting detailed the facts.
It was a bomb.
A bomb had been snuck onto the plane and detonated at 36,000 feet. A hole had been blown in the side of the fuselage. A big hole.
Passengers had been killed immediately. And some had been blown out of the gaping hole. Others were sucked out, violently snatched out by air pressure and 500 mile per hour winds.
He was one of them. He’ been pulled out into the thin air at that height. And then he fell to the earth. Death awaited him below. But somehow, and this is the funny, crazy, impossible part, he found a way to make a call during the fall.
He pulled his cell phone and was able to control it just enough to dial her number, to dial her silenced cell phone resting on the counter. The wind and roar and night blasting him as he fell made it next to impossible to speak into the phone. But still he did it.
Maybe it was for the best. He most likely would not have been able to hear her shouting into her phone replying to his yelling. But maybe, maybe he would have heard her over the terrible roar.
Instead, she shouts, yells each night. Into her pillow. She shouts, screams her reply. “I love you!”
Written at a disturbing 33,000 feet Atlanta to Tulsa.