Friday 8:45 a.m. Run to school trying to keep up with six-year-old on bike and two-year-old on scooter. Thank my lucky stars they stop at street corners; vow to wear a sports bra every day, forever.
Friday 9:15 a.m. Realize phone is not in the pocket it should be. Conduct embarrassing public TSA-style pat-down of self and admit phone is gone.
Friday 11:00 a.m. Receive email saying stranger found phone. Reply with effusive gratitude, offer to meet to retrieve.
Friday 11:00 p.m. Email again reiterating thanks and offer to meet anywhere, any time. Start insurance claim to replace lost phone, stop when $130 deductible demanded.
Saturday 11:00 p.m. Email again with well wishes for stranger’s weekend and mention of wide open schedule.
Monday 11:00 a.m. Receive email with request for address, apologies and explanation for weekend silence. Reply with casual understanding, address information, and repeated offer to meet.
Tuesday 11:00 a.m. Find phone in mailbox with broken back piece. Try to charge but realize shell is too damaged. Check email and see a long message apologizing for the phone that probably doesn’t work, with explanation of a non-profit rescue at sea of two children involving an overloaded dingy, erroneous captain assurances, and bailing out. Email includes apology for the phone’s probable demise in the salt water that soaked everyone on the boat and a reminder that the stranger’s heart was in the right place.
Tuesday 3:00 pm complete payment on insurance deductible and await new phone on the morrow.
Choose your own ending:
If you want to steal that random and implausible story for your novel, go to page 9. There you will be reminded of copyright and my ownership of that thread of crazy.
If you want to remember never to put your phone in your pocket again, go to page 14. There you will hear a sing-song “I told you so” from several members of my family.
If you want to forbid your children from using wheeled transport to school ever again, turn to page 37. There you will be reminded of how long it takes to get to school if they drag their feet and smell the flowers the whole way.
If you want to vow never to drop your phone where I did, go to page 82. You’ll be taken to a map of the more reasonable and upstanding members of your ‘hood.
If you want to be grateful you have your sim card and storage disk and hope against hope they work in the new phone, turn to page 25. You’ll be given a medal for perspective and general human goodness.
If you want to write a different ending than those offered here, please do.
I’ll take the final option, the sane one. But only because I’m reading your story, not living it, and therefore it’s an easy option to chose. I wish it were that easy in the moment.
I’m taking it, too, Matt, because the whole thing is over.
And because I want to be there when you get your medal.
Leave my phone at home by accident (avoiding the entire drama), and then mentally complain to myself all day. “I can’t beleive I forgot my phone! What was I thinking?!” Because sometimes, there’s no way to win.
Heather, I have no idea it would feel like to beat myself up about mistakes because I’m completely forgiving of all my flaws.
Bahahaha ha ha ha. Ha.
I think you’ve covered it. Unless, of course, we want to crawl back to the dark ages when cell phones were the thing of the Jetsons and if we wanted to make a phone call we did it from home or (gasp!) at a germ infested pay phone. Otherwise, we just waited until we saw the person, in person.
Ahhhh. Those were the days.
Jane, in my day you always made sure to have two dimes with you when you left the house because one wasn’t enough for a long call, nor if your first call was answered by one of those horrible new “machines” for taking messages.
Then it cost a quarter. And that’s why cell phones were invented. Because seriously? A quarter?