Lydia is at her best friend's funeral when she get's a call from his cell phone. It's not his voice on the other end of the call, but the voice makes it very clear something planned has gone wrong, and she was involved. . . .
A Saturday morning can be spent many different enjoyable ways. That's what Saturdays are for after all. But this Saturday was not a happy one for Lydia. She thought as she stood in the room of the old Church building in their small Idaho town and stared blankly at the coffin in front of her. Lying under the closed lid was Sam. No matter how many times to tried to tell herself it wasn't, she knew it was.
It hadn't even felt real to her. Not when she got the call. Not when his sister answered the door sobbing, not even when she saw his picture on the table of flowers. Smiling and laughing. That picture had been taken when he got his report card back with almost all F's and he, Lydia and several other friends had gone out to burn it and watch a movie. It felt only yesterday. Then, just like that, one reckless person decided to drive home drunk. And Sam was gone.
She hadn't even considered accepting it until she saw the coffin. The lid was down because his face was too destroyed to be shown. That's what they had said. And she missed him. She would never see him again. Just like that. No warning, no goodbye. Just, Gone.
Lydia turned away and walked past his tearful family. She couldn't take it anymore. Why him? He had been so funny, so happy all the time. Her best friend in this tiny town. He was a month away from graduating, and that DVD he had ordered on ebay yesterday, he would never get it. Those were the saddest things to realize. How rapidly it all changed. In just a matter or seconds.
She twisted her long blond hair to the side of her shoulder and smoothed out her red dress. She couldn't cry in public. She hoped no one thought of her as heartless. All the other girls here were crying. She just couldn't bring herself to do it. Crying would be accepting his death. She couldn't accept it. Not yet.
Lydia was just considering going over to talk to Amanda and Katey, when her cell phone bussed from in her shoe where she had hidden it. Lydia paused, then knelt down and pulled it out.
801-677-9827. Lydia's eyes bulged and she nearly cried out. That was Sam's cell phone number. She checked it again and again. That was it.There was his Contact name; "Sam the Dork" and his contact picture; a cow. Was someone calling her from his cell phone? Was this some kind of sick Joke? What cruel person would do this? She ignored the call and turned back to the casket. People were writing their final thoughts down in a notebook with Sam's picture on the front, black hair and bright, electric blue eyes, his senior yearbook picture; and his mother was talking to a group of friends with tears streaming down her cheeks. Everyone was here. Even Seth who everyone knew hated Sam sense they were five.
Her phone buzzed again. Looking down, she knitted her eyebrows together. Sam again. Maybe someone had found his cell phone near the crash sight and was calling to see who's it was. But why were they calling her number? Wouldn't they call the number that was labeled; "the mother" or something?
Finally, when they called the third time, Lydia stalked out of the church into the parking lot and answered.
"Who is this?" she demanded. "If you think this is some kind of joke, it's not funny."
There was silence on the other end of the line. No, she could hear breathing. Heavy breathing. But it was almost like the phone was not to their ear, more like off to the side.
"Hello?" she called. "Why do you keep calling this number?"
"Who is this?" a slow voice on the other end of the line asked. It was not Sam's voice.....had she been expecting Sam's voice? That wasn't possible. He was in the coffin.
"This is Lydia." she answered. "Don't call this number anymore you hear me? And why do you have my friend's phone?"
"Lydia? He said he told you."
"Sam said he would tell you everything. That you would know I would call."
"What are you talking about?" Lydia asked, sounding weaker than she realized. "He would tell me what?"
"Isn't he there?"
"He's dead." she replied, her voice shaking. Hot tears burned the rim of her eyes, she whipped them away angrily. "Who is this?" she asked again.
"Oh no....he said he would tell you. This isn't going according to plan.....where are you?"
"Who is this?"
"Where are you?" the voice demanded.
"Tell me who you are first." Lydia snapped. There was a long pause.
"My name is Chess." the voice replied.
"Yes now. where-are-you?"
"At the church." Lydia said quietly. "At Sam's funeral. What is this all about?"
"Okay, stay there. Look for a black outie. I'm coming to get you right now."
"What? Why? What's going on?" Lydia cried.
"No time to explain. Don't move. Trust me. We have to get you out of there. Before they do."
"They? They who?" But the line went dead. Lydia slowly closed the cell phone. And stared at the street in front of her. A cold wind blew through the air, pushing the heavy gray clouds above her west, promissing rain. Something was going on. But what? Suddenly, a large red truck pulled up in front of her. She felt fear clench her stomach as the window rolled down and a french man with a pointy moustach and beard peered out at her.
"Excuse me." he said in a heavy accent. "Do you know where Mrs..... Lydia Fisher is?"