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Third Call

 

Feeling a bit buzzed, drinking the last drop, I indubitably guzzled the entire three-dollar bottle of red wine. This was a monumental undertaking because I’m not a drinker. Socially, I do imbibe at quarterly business functions but everyday survival; booze has never been a consideration or consolation. My life supports are pies, cookies, cakes, donuts, and candy. I have a sugarcoated addiction.

Consciously knowing I was over my prudent alcohol limit, I heaved caution overboard shackled by its conflicting and rude outlook toward my debauched mental status. I should’ve meditated and pondered the possible ramifications that would follow my indiscreet, audacious, and rambunctious out of control code of conduct. My emotional vessel was plummeting and I was about to dive into the murky alchemistical depths of the preposterous incident overwhelmed by the pending cataclysmic diagnosis of death.

Choosing an incommensurable alternative, finding my new playmate’s business card, I intoxicatingly assured myself I was calling to chastise the supernatural freak for putting me on the verge of insanity. For a split-second, I argued with myself and took a unilateral vote to determine if I should embark on the wild side. Needless to say, sensible Sally lost the debate.

The jack-arse at the supermarket pumped up my curious nature and being half-crocked, I took a left on Wanton Way following the advice of my liquored mentality. Disregarding his coarse infractions, this bloke now manipulates and complicates my existence. Our parley is still running in the back of my mind. I’ve tried to disregard his juvenile antics but he’s got a hook in my soul. Vinny’s bad-boy persona discombobulated my good sense and hogtied it to a whipping post. Licentiousness surfaced like the besmirched adulterous oil from Exxon’s Valdez. Dialing his number, a cocky voice answered my outlandish urge and need to talk about the coming events.

“You got me and what took you so long to call? I figured you’d be dialing my number while driving home. Is the bottle gone?”

His words fueled the wrong fire. “Excuse me - I had to eat dinner, do a few things, and shower. My world doesn’t revolve around the likes of you.”

“So, why did you call? Did you shower by yourself or with your boyfriend? If you were with your boyfriend, he’s not much of a lover.”

“Steve’s not my boyfriend any more.”

“Did you argue with him, like you argued with me? Your mouth never stops. Did he walk out on you?”

“I have no reason to quarrel with Steve. We’re getting married in a few weeks.”

“Getting married? Where did this idea come from? You never mentioned your relationship was this serious. Why didn’t you tell me from the get-go? I hate to say this, but you don’t seem to be excited by the wedding plans. There’s no giddy-up in your voice.”

“I didn’t call you to talk about my love life. Did you really say, giddy-up?”

“Did you call to talk about us or do you want to verbally bash me? I get the feeling it’s both. Go ahead; tell me off over the phone. Later, I’ll drop by and I’ll make it all better.”

“Are you out of your mind? There is no ‘us’. Why would you think we’re a couple? You’re an acquaintance, a friend. Drop by later? I told you, I’m getting married.”

Underneath the vowels and consonants, my intimate pilot light was lit just by hearing his voice. It must be the booze.

“You say there isn’t an ‘us’ but I think there is. Denying the truth doesn’t stop the feelings. It won’t make them go away.”

“Oh please, don’t pat yourself on the back. Besides you’re married to Maria, the beauty queen.”

“From the sounds of it, you’re almost married. When’s the big day?”

“After Christmas.”

“You don’t have an exact date? The guy won’t commit to a date?”

“We’re meeting with Deacon Ed.”

‘Well then, you are serious. Okay, why did you call if it wasn’t to talk about us?”

“I need you. Wait - I said it wrong.”

“No, you didn’t say it wrong. That’s what I’ve been telling you but you’re delusional. You can’t deny the attraction.”

“Can you get your mind out of the gutter? I need to ask a question.”

“Ask away and I’ll be serious.”

“Good. Did you see the bell-ringer at the store?”

“Damn right, I’m good and I saw the bell-ringer. Do you want me to come over later to prove it to you? I can’t leave the job just yet but I should be done in a couple of hours.”

“Would you please stop and listen. Angelica told me I was going to die before the clock strikes twelve.”

“You know her name? Did she tell you her name?”

“No, I gave her that name.”

“Angelica isn’t a bell-ringer.”

“If she isn’t a bell-ringer, what was she doing at the grocery store ringing a bell?”

“The beautiful redhead is your Guardian Angel. Catholic’s have this thing about angels. Angelica was sent to you. I’ve been studying angelology. Lot was delivered from evil by an angel. God gave Moses an angel who went before him. Judith said an angel was her keeper. You need to read the good book. Angels speak the truth.”

“Well then, my Guardian Angel told me I was going to die.”

“I thought you were joking about the midnight thing. Angelica actually said those words? She used death and midnight in one sentence?”

“Yes, and I called you thinking you’d understand. Obviously, I was wrong, again. I didn’t tell Steve because…”

“Because he would think you’re nuts. So, you call me, a stranger who was flirting with you in the store?”

“See, I knew it, you were hitting on me. Vinny, I think our conversation is over. I shouldn’t have called you; big mistake.”

“Darlin’, I’m trying to lighten things up. You called me because I said if you have a supernatural problem, I could help. FYI, I’m very handy. What else did Angelica say? Not to brag but I was right, again.”

“Don’t call me Darling and what are you right about? Let me find a needle so I can burst your ego balloon.”

“There is an ‘us’. You don’t want to admit it but we have a supernatural connection. Supernatural relationships always lead to more.”

Vinny was silent for a second waiting for my rejoinder. I didn’t have one. The man spoke candidly.

“What, no sarcasm or slew of nasty words? You must agree with me.”

Giving in, “Okay, you’re right. I feel like I’ve known you all my life. That doesn’t mean there is an us.”

“Tell me, what else did the GA say? You seem bothered by what she told you.”

“Wouldn’t you be upset if someone said you were going to die tonight?”

“Yeah but go on; what did she actually say. Your interpretation may have targeted the wrong words.”

“Vinny, it was crazy stuff. She told me not to go back because if I did, I’d be in a spiritual battle with Satan.”

“How much wine did you drink?”

“I drank a glass.”

“Busted - I bet the bottle is gone. Did she mention the second death and the lake of fire? How about the gift?”

“How do you know what she said? Did she tell you the same things? What does Angelica mean by the second death, the lake of fire, and the gift?”

“Darlin’ what I’m going to tell you is weird.”

“Vinny, don’t call me Darling.”

“Would you let me talk without interrupting?”

“Yeah, go on.”

“I learned this from experience. I was shot, died, and requested God to send me back. My prayer was granted. During the first twenty-four hours, I fought Satan. I survived, but if I had lost, God would’ve delivered my soul into the lake of fire, the second death also known as eternal Hell.”

“You sound just like her. Vinny, you don’t think this stuff is farfetched, borderline nut-so getting ready to party at the loony bin? This isn’t cuckoo-clock wacko?”

“No, me and the devil, we had our fling. I won with God’s help. I use the gift to intercede for the dead. In our sphere of influence, we are called intercessors or supernatural healers.”

“Vinny, this is unbelievable. The more questions I ask, the deeper and more convoluted this gets. What do intercessors do?”

“If a ghost talks to me, I complete their unfinished business. Sometimes the intercession is easy and everyone is happy. There have been instances when I’ve bumped into evil spirits, not be choice. You visually see ghosts now but once you get the gift, they are going to ask you to intercede. If you finish their life, they will crossover and rest in peace. Your job is done. There is only a thin wall between the living and the dead. We meet them at the door.”

“Why are there ghosts? Where do they come from?”

“The short version, some souls don’t crossover when they die. They don’t want to go, don’t know they’re dead or they have to finish something.”

“If I die, and come back to earth will people see me?”

“Yes but you will fight off Satan for the first twenty-four hours. Angelica was right. The devil has many advocates, living and dead. Don’t worry because I’ll intercede for you. You’ll owe me.”

“How did you win and get the gift? If it is a gift, there is no payback.”

“All you need to know is I was shot. Like I said, Satan can use flesh and blood against you.”

“How do I stop this?”

“Darlin’, you can’t stop destiny. The wheels are in motion. Your Guardian Angel warned you. Take the angel’s advice. When the hand strikes midnight, let it be.”

“In other words, you want me to die? Two seconds ago, you were ready for playtime. Now, you want me to give-up and cash-in my life.”

“Darlin’, Heaven’s better than this place. If you don’t want to intercede for the dead - let it go. What I am trying to say, being an intercessor is not all fun and games. It’s a huge responsibility. If you have a choice, I suggest you let it go.”

“Vinny, I’m getting married in a few weeks. I can’t let it go. Steve told me to quit my job and write books. I’ve never had the opportunity to do something I really wanted to do. And, for the last time, don’t call me, Darling.”

“Forget about what I told you; I’m being stupid. When the time comes, it will be your choice. You’ll do the right thing.”

“You’re not being stupid. I need to face the truth. If I relinquish the joy of Heaven for this awful place, I will be tested like Job. I’m despicable for even thinking about coming back. I’m Lot’s wife facing perdition, unappreciative of God’s grace.”

“No, you’re not despicable - you’re human and you have feelings.”

“Will a killer come after me?”

“For all I know, Satan could use an eighteen-wheeler, jumping the curb. Did you tell your boyfriend?”

“I’ve already told you, Steve doesn’t believe in the supernatural. This sounds insane to me and I’ve seen my fair share of anomalous spirits.”

“You’re getting married in a few weeks and you didn’t tell your boyfriend you were going to die? Why isn’t he with you right now? He could prevent it.”

“If I told Steve what the angel said, he’d think I was crazy.”

“Darlin’, if he loves you, he wouldn’t think you were nuts. See, if you had told him, he’d be with you right now. Instead, you’re on the phone with me. You could hit the sheets with Steve before you die or you could hit them with me.”

“Steve is working and do you have to be so vulgar? Quit calling me, Darling.”

“Your fiancé is at the office in the middle of a snowstorm?”

“He’s flying back to California in a few hours. Steve doesn’t live in North Carolina. The storm is almost over.”

“You didn’t tell Steve about the warning because you know he’d leave you at the altar. Darlin’, do you want me to stay with you? I can drop by later and spend the night. I don’t know if I’ll change anything but it’s better than nothing.”

“Are you hitting on me?”

“Hitting on you? Do you think I want to be around when Satan strikes? Been there and done that. I know you’re going to ask to come back. Since you’ve had too much to drink, you’ll need someone to tuck you into bed. I’m available.”

“I’m already in bed.”

“Was that an open door invitation? Is there an outside key under the doormat?”

“Vinny, are you freaking out of your mind? There you go; you made me say the F-word.”

“I was trying to make you laugh. It could be your last laugh and that’s not the F-word.”

“You’re right, I should’ve told Steve. I’ll call him back. He’ll stay with me until it passes.”

“That’s my girl, now you’re thinking. Call your fiancé, and tell him you’re sick. If he loves you, he’ll leave work. I’ll check back later. I hate to do this, but I really have to go.”

“Vinny, thanks for your help.”

“Darlin’, call Steve and tell him to get his ass over there. It could change the circumstances. If he doesn’t show, I will.”

“Thanks for being there for me and I’ll call Steve.”

“Do that and I’ll tag back in an hour.”

My new friend muttered words after his obliging benediction but the sentence was inaudible. He was rushed. Our communication came to an unresolved conclusion.

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