Phone Call

I can remember it was a cold early fall evening, my roommate and I were getting ready to go out. My roommate and I had been friends since 8th grade, we decided that since we got in the same University, but couldn’t live on campus, that we would move into an apartment off campus together.

The phone rang, and I ran into my bedroom and dove for the phone. It was my Father, he had come back from posting, feeling really sick, we thought it was allergies. In that phone call, that moment, he broke it to me that he had throat cancer. I attempted to hold it together for the remainder of the phone call, as soon as I hung up, I burst into tears. My roommate walked in trying to console me. She tried to tell me that she had gone through this too, because having a Mother going through a biopsy that turns out to be benign is the same thing as getting diagnoses with a rare form of throat cancer, right? I dried up my tears pretty quickly, told her not to tell anyone, and finished getting ready to go out.

That night, I pushed everything in my head, out. I was always pretty good at masking my feelings.

By Thanksgiving, I just wanted to go home, and spend time with my parents. My Father could no longer talk on the phone, he had been going through painful radiation treatments. Old friends kept calling the house wanting me to show up to a party. I avoided them, my roommate thought it was because of her, that I didn’t want to hang out. I just wanted space and time. My Father’s cancer took hold of him pretty quickly. My Mother was researching every possible alternative medicine, or test trials in the U.S. We were fighting an uphill battle, My Father’s father, died of the exact same cancer.

After that weekend at home, I shut down. My roommate was depressed she wasn’t with all of her other friends at  a different University. She made it impossible to hang out with her. So, I avoided her.

For months, I avoided. Not wanted to discuss cancer, not wanted to remember that my Father was fighting for his life.

When the school year ended. I went home to become my Father’s nurse. My roommate had been a part of a group of tight nit girlfriends I had been friends with throughout my moves in highschool. I thought they would be there for me, but throughout the year, I got no phone calls, nothing. They had taken sides, who could blame them, I wasn’t speaking to my roommate, who happened to be their friend too. I came home, to no support network.

I had been home 2 months, with a daily routine that consisted of giving my Father Morphine through a feeding tube. It was shattering.

My Father was then admitted to hospital again, this time he would stay overnight. My Mother and I came home to clean, and shower, before my Mother was heading back to sleep by my Father’s side.

The phone rang. I picked it up, watching my Mother eat cheese and crackers over the sink. I said “hello” dazed and tired.

on the other end “Why are you spreading lies about me? Why are you so horribly mean?” it was my roommate. I breathed in sharply, I was not redy for this, but there had been a lot of cruelty in the last 6 months.

I shot back, looking at my Mother realizing I would have to explain the story “Don’t you dare tell me I have been spreading rumours about me, don’t you dare call me at this time, after you told everyone I was lying about my Father’s cancer, you have the audacity to call me when I am now watching my Father die. You called yourself a friend, you did nothing but make my life miserable, you turned everyone against me, when all I needed was a friend. I am not mean, karma must be have come back to bite you in the ass.” I did call her a whole bunch of nasty names, what can I say, between sleep deprivation and the emotional ups and downs I had been experiencing, I was done. I hung up, and burst into tears.

Back when I found out about the Cancer, I had told my roommate not to say anything. My Father didn’t want anyone finding out, he didn’t want rumours to fly around, he knew there were people after his job, but he also didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him.

My roommate took it upon herself, to go back to all of our friends, and tell everyone that I had been telling people about my Father’s cancer to make friends and get sympathy. Her phone call, was not the first. I had many of them, some were taunting, some made me throw up afterwards, as they wished my Father dead so I would learn my lesson about lies. It got to the point, I slept on a friends dorm room floor almost every night, not wanting to ever be in my own apartment.

I did not know a bunch of girls could attack the way they did, torment someone who was already going through torture. But they did. it was merciless.

What I was most shocked about, one of the girls had been working at the pharmacy and saw my Mother weekly pick up a garbage bag full of medication for my Father. She even rung it through a few times for the pharmacist.

When my Father died, those girls never did try to contact me. But that kind of bullying, was beyond anything I could ever forgive, in my view, their hearts were black.

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