Cornerstone Magazine Spring 2014 - Page 21

phone rang and slopped beer all over himself again. Cursing, Jude reached for the phone. “What?” he said curtly. “Jude?” “...Dad?” Jude sat down at the table as his legs suddenly felt weak. “What is? What’s happened? Is mom…” He couldn’t ask. “No,” his dad sounded breathless but overjoyed, “She got it. She got a heart transplant. She’s going into surgery now.” Joyful tears began to flow down Jude’s cheeks. “I’m coming,” Jude said. “Okay, be careful on the road, Jude.” “See you soon, Dad.” Jude threw out all of the beer – opened and unopened – and ran to change his shirt. He ran back to the front of the house and reached into the basket that held all the car keys even as he walked into the garage. But then he paused. No sharp edges, no hard metal against his groping fingers. Jude looked into the basket. His keys weren’t there – but there was a note, scrawled in Gabe’s blocky letters: “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. If you need a ride to the hospital, call me. - Gabe.” For a second, Jude hated him. But then he laughed aloud for the first time in days. Then he felt guilty for throwing his friend out of his home. Jude pulled his cell from his back pocket and dialed the number he had known by heart for many years. It went to voicemail: “Hey, man! It’s Gabe – leave me a message after the beeping thing.” Jude grinned at the voicemail that barely five minutes ago would have driven him into a fit of anger. “Hi Gabe. Listen, mom got the transplant and I need a ride to the hospital because I probably shouldn’t drive. And…” Jude paused, but continued on doggedly, “I’m sorry about earlier. If you want, I mean, I could use a friend at the hospital. So...yeah...Come get me!” Jude waited five minutes before giving up and calling Gabe’s house. No one answered there either. “Weird,” he muttered. He looked down at his phone, wondering who to call. His parents were not an option, and apparently no one was home at Gabe’s and Gabe wasn’t picking up… The house phone rang again and Jude jumped. Fear gripped his heart that it might be his father calling to say that the transplant had been canceled. He ran to the phone and answered, his shadow trembling on the cold white tiles of the kitchen floor. “Jude here,” he said breathlessly. “Hey Jude, it’s Coach Randall.” Jude felt his heart start beating normally again. Coach Randall, his hockey coach, had known first Jude’s father, and now him, for years and was a regular at his home for dinner. “Hi Coach, what is it?” “Nothing. I just…just wanted to see how you were doing.” “Actually,” Jude began, “my mom got the transplant.” For a second he marveled how strange it fel Ё