Because You Called

“Kelly, I need you.” Her voice was soft and desperate.

“Bobs, are you home?”

The phone greeted my question with silence.

“Bobbi? Are you at home?”

Not even a whisper.

“I’ll be right there.”

I went into motion, grabbing my keys, purse, and laptop within seconds. “Hon, I’m going to Bobbi’s. She needs me,” I said to my husband.

He nodded.

He knew.

I twisted the key into the ignition and stopped – I needed her house key just in case I couldn’t get inside.

A quick trip back inside for the key and I was gone, praying for the stoplight Gods to be merciful. Eyeing the speedometer and planning in my head what I would say if a cop dared pull me over.

Can I use your sirens? My friend needs me.

Only seven or eight minutes had passed when I pulled into her apartment complex.

I already knew I was too late, but it didn’t stop me.

“Bobbi?” I shoved open her door and a chocolate lab greeted me, not with his typical exuberance, with restraint. Anxiety. His eyes pleaded with me.

“I’ll take care of her, Cooper,” I said, already moving around the small apartment, searching.

I found her on the kitchen floor.

Her body was still, splayed facedown. Her left arm and foot were shoved under the end of the counter, the newly painted cupboard beneath the sink wide open, as if she’d tried to grab something.

She only wore a T-shirt and underwear, her usual attire for lounging at home. The marks on her ankles were clear, but I couldn’t tell if they were new or old.

I moved towards her head, careful to dodge the spot on the unforgiving tile where she’d wet herself. I checked her pulse and the rise and fall of her back as I noted the white bubbles in her mouth.

I was right. It had been another seizure.

I moved away, noting the time and scratched Cooper’s ears as he pawed at me.

We waited.

Several minutes passed before she stirred, coughing and spitting out the foam in her mouth as tears of frustration raced down her face.

I was at her side instantly, rubbing her back.

“Shhhh…. Don’t cry. It’s over now. I’m here.”

“Wh-why?” she asked, confused and disoriented.

“Because you called.”

* * * * *

We’d like you to explore friendship. You can talk about a current friendship or one from your past, a friend you met over kindergarten snacks or happy hour at your first job. Examine your emotional interest in the friendship and the role it plays, or played, in your life.

The word limit for this prompt is 400 words.

* * *

The backstory: Two weeks ago, my friend Bobbi collapsed as I caught her, shattering the glass she’d been drinking from on my kitchen floor. I set her down as carefully as I could, avoiding the shards as her body seized, her hands shaking. Foam gurgled in her mouth and I rolled her onto her left side. I had never witnessed anything like it. 

It was her first seizure. They would strengthen and become stronger over the next few weeks, escalating into grand mal (tonic clonic) seizures where she’d bang her head and feet into the floor. Often they came in pairs.

She is lucky – she has an aura preceding the seizures – a warning. Her dog, Cooper, is very sensitive and can pick up on them several minutes before she can.

But she’s scared and stubborn. And sometimes, she thinks sheer willpower can overcome or delay the onset of a seizure, as she has been able to do with panic attacks. As in the case described above, she didn’t head the warning, until she called me seconds before seizing. 

She has no memory of calling me.

She’s learning it isn’t a weakness to listen to the warnings. It isn’t failure to “give in” and lie on the floor, surrounded by pillows. She’s going through the long doctor process to hopefully get the cause diagnosed so she can treat it.

Meanwhile, I’m on speed dial.

Right where I should be.

Even if there isn’t much I can do.

* * *

Concrit on the writing is welcome as always.

Also linked up at:

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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14 Responses to Because You Called

  1. Robbie says:

    What a scary time for both of you. I am glad you have each other.

    Stopping by from #PYHO

  2. everyone should have a friend like you on speed dial. best wishes to your friend.

  3. Andrea says:

    OMG, how scary. I’m glad she has some sort of “sign,” but how terribly scary. I hope she is OK and how wonderful that she has a friend like you she can count on. I will keep her in my thoughts and send healthy and healing vibes her way. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jessica says:

    Wow, your writing is beautiful. The way you wrote that story had me hanging onto every word. Your friend is lucky to have you. Im hoping and praying that your friend finds out what is going on, and its something that can be easily fixed.

  5. My God. I thought she’d been murdered. I was terrified for you both as you waited for her to come around. I am so glad she has your friendship.

  6. The M Half says:

    I, too, hung on every word. Well written, very touching, and so scary. You are both in my heart.

  7. Shell says:

    I’m so glad that she is learning to listen to the warnings. And that she has a friend like you that she can call.

  8. Kir says:

    Oh my goodness Kel..my heart is just hurting for Bobbi. She has such a phenomenal friend in you, someone who can be there and hold her until the bad stuff passes.

    It was so well written but it was the heart of it that moved it, the love in the spaces in your friendship and your commitment to each other. You are lucky to have one another.

  9. Gina says:

    Oh my God! You are so lucky you got to her quickly and that she could even call you. She must have been so frightened and you, I can’t imagine! I certainly hope she finds the right doctors and she can get this diagnosed and be in a safer state. Keep phone by your bed for sure!

  10. Frelle says:

    I love you. for being there, for being a real friend who comes when a friend calls, for adapting to this new illness with her and coming alongside and showing that you’re trustworthy to come as well as to care for her tenderly and respectfully. And thank you so much for educating about seizures, about care, and about canine sensitivity to the seizures.

    My oldest had/has a seizure disorder, she has’t had any for 8 years, but her early childhood was pretty frightening for me, as she had about 4 different kinds and never got a diagnosis.

    Thank you. for being who you are. and for linking up today. So powerful,and so well told too. *HUG*

  11. Bobbi says:

    I love you.

    I always read your posts again and again. Your words have that kind of power for me, because I know the love that goes into them.

    It’s true that I don’t remember calling you. But who else would I call, except you? You are my given. My indisputable truth. That’s what sisters are for.

    We’ll get through this. And then, we’ll send you to Canada. Because Lord knows you could use a break from all the Chaos around these parts.

  12. Natalie says:

    That gave me chills, literally. And what Bobbi wrote to you? What an amazing bond you two have.

    When I was in 7th grade, a girl in one of my classes had grand mal seizures. Other kids thought she was weird. She was not, they just didn’t understand. One day, she tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to hold her hand. I don’t know why, but I took her hand. She laid down on the floor, and had a seizure. Just knowing that I could comfort her? I will never forget how grateful to God I was that she asked for my hand.

  13. Kristen says:

    to both of you (Bobbi too) … I’ve been reading for awhile. Through many of your struggles. Bobbi – you are very lucky to have Cooper. My son has grand mals – and we go next week to pick up his trained “seizure” dog – that will hopefully be able to alert us. Alexander has tried various medicines – and … I’m sure you are seeing a neurologist – but, my door is always open. Keppra is a great drug to try to control them, and if not – there are others. **I’m sure your neurologist is on top of this** but – I just wanted to tell you … there is always an ear here if you need one to bounce ideas off of. Seizures are scary. xoxo to both of you. Kristen

  14. What an incredible story. The ties that bond friends are some of the most incredible out there.

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