*We are picking up where we left of yesterday,as the news was being delivered by the sheriffs.
“Ma’am there has been an accident” the officer pronounced.
I was dumfounded, my heart sank. I started to shake the words off .. so I blow what was just said off…
“Naw, he’s here this must be some kind of joke”. I quipped.
“What makes you say that” the officer says with a dumbfounded curiosity.
“Well you know Travis, always ready for a joke”, I tried to push by them to prove that his red dodge would be down the road a little ways with Travis in there with his look of “gotcha” and to just to prove to me that I still need him in his life, or that he get me in some sick joke.
“Ma’ma Travis is not coming home” the officers said again.
“No, you’re wrong, you’re wrong” I declared.
“Ma’am there has been an accident, Travis is not coming home” the officer says a little more persistent with more power behind his voice.
“He is going to be alright, right?” I ask, I have to make sure he is okay I thought, I need to go to the hospital to see him. My insides felt so heavy, I felt like lead, I know something was wrong now. His truck still has not pulled into the driveway.
“Yooouurr…wrrroonngg”, I started to blubber.
“Travis was killed on his way home. All we know is that it was between Green Street and Hunt Road” the second officers proclaimed it to me.
I did not hear them, I started to cry, blubber, weep, I was shaking, backing up from them like they were going to attack me, my hands flew to my mouth, I wanted to curl up and hide like I was some hideous monster from the medieval times.
“Mrs. Silver, … Why don’t we go inside” the first officer mentioned. We were still in the front room with the front door wide open to the world. I dreaded to be in these predicaments, vulnerable with no form of protection or a way out.
“ummm..oh..oh..ok I go make coffee” I said, for it felt the most hospital thing to do, but also a way to escape these solemn men that had just showed up with no warning.
The officers and firemen seemed to take up the whole room. They were so great in stature. I walked through the rest of the front entry way, through the dining room and into the kitchen. I removed the glass pot from the coffee maker and it was like I was in a some horrible dream. I attempted start o fill it up with water but my mind was a million miles away, staring out the kitchen window into nothing I hadn’t even realized that the coffee pot had overfilled. I hadn’t even felt the cold water wash over my wrist. The chief takes the pot out of my hands and says softly to me,
“Here let me do it”.
“You know how to”, not that I was dismissing the fact that he could indeed make coffee; it was the fact that one, Travis had never made coffee and two that I had never seen a man make a pot of coffee before.
Like in a dream, I somehow turned over my duty to make coffee for the guests and managed to make my way back into the adjoining dining room and I plopped down in the dining room chair dazed. My mind going through a million things….nothing….and … questions, I could not process everything and the nothing that was going on in my mind. Silence…filled the room…
One of the officers speaks up “Mrs. Silver is there someone we can call?”
Like I was going to have someone else do my duties for me. I am Shelly. I am invincible. I am a mom. I can do it all. Then again, I dreaded what needed to be done next. It was like Mount Everest of thoughts, and things to do and things I was unware that had to be done.
“Yes, let me call my mom.” I phone my mom, and I can get barely speak, I forgot how to talk…I could not get anything out, my words are filled with tears as I say,
“Mom….Mom”, I whimpered…” it’s …Travis, its Travis”,
“What happened “ she says drowsily, I must have just woke her up.
“He isn’t coming home mom,…mom” … I felt so weak, so lifeless..so powerless right now.
“Oh my god,..oh my god,…my daughter”,.. there are tears in her voice as she wearily says “ my daughter we will be right there..”
It feels like forever or perhaps for a spilt second I forgot how to actually click the red end call button on the touch screen for the phone was take away by one of the officers who clicked the red button for me.
“Is there anyone else” one of the officers questions me.
Oh shit….his family…oh my god, what are they gonna think….what are they going to do to me…oh my god…then it hit me..how daunting the task was going to be in phoning everyone from family to friends to his job and coworkers…how the hell am I going to do all of this ….
“Yes, his family, call Suzy” I whimpered. The two fireman, one was sitting next to me at the end of the blond oak dining room table and the other one sat across from me, both watching me in my next move. The two sheriffs both stood next to the table, powerful in their appearance and uniform.
“Who’s that” the officer questioned me.
“His sister” I replied through tears. God, the only sibling that ever acknowledged me as his wife, the mother of his children, and actually spent time with us, well time spent with her at her house. No one in his family barely ever came to our home His brother’s never took interest in either the children or me, one used actually hollered obscenities to me while I was dating Travis before he moved in with me. But now is not the time to let my wonder and be taken over by what used to be.
I dial Suzy up and could not get past even the “Hi…Suzy” before I started to bawl…
“Suzy…..its ..its…Travis “
I could hear her tired voice as she was waking from slumber…
“God no….no…is he…he is ok… is he ok?”
I started to shake; I trembled as I held the phone out like that was supposed to solve the issues at hand. I was weeping and there was words being said and I felt like I was going to fall off the chair in pain, pain from my heart, shattered from within, my soul was crushed. The men on the room seeing my agony, nodded to the officer who then took the phone, and took over the painful news that had to be broken.
“Suzy, this is Officer Tad..I regret to inform you that your brother Travis was killed in a motor vehicle accident.”
I could not hear what else he said my heart, my soul…then another crucial awareness was brought forth… my daughter’s, oh my god my daughters.
“Who else can we call for you Mrs. Silver, perhaps a mutual friend”. Lizzy came to mind, for the rest of his family would not, I could not wake at this hour, I will handle that in the morning. I figured that Lizzy should still be awake.
The officers called Lizzy who tore right over. Holy shit can that women drive, made a ten minute drive in five.
As I am waiting for everyone to arrive and making sure that everyone was aware that there were sleeping toddlers I had asked if anyone smoked. God I needed a smoke. It must have been routine of walking in the house, for I found myself at the front porch.
I sift through my hoodie pocket for my pack of cigarettes and blue mini bic lighter. Through the trembling of my body and face dripping with tears, I tried to flick the bic, and I failed miserably,…multiple times. Could not even light my fucken cigarette. How pathetic I must appear to these strong men.
I glance down the street, two patrol cars, lights flashing red and blue bouncing of the neighborly houses. Surprised that no one had come out to gawk at what possibly could be going on. They were parked on the other side of the street. Two other vehicles parked on the same side of the road as our house was, they must be the chief’s and that assistance chief’s truck.
As I attempt to puff on my cigarette and feel the burn of the menthol, I am still waiting for Travis to come home. He can help handle this. I tried to call him, still no answer.
God this is not happening, not so happening.
Even though we had that fight we were still planning our five year anniversary, Lizzy she was supposed to my maid of honor. His cousins were going to help out and god, he even found a ring to fit his finger. He was proud of losing all that weight, almost able to come of his high blood pressure medicine; he was so happy and proud to be able to start setting a good example for our kids.
Oh my god, my daughter’s how am I, what am I what am I gonna do. I felt as the world stop, I am dazed, tears still strolling down my face. I plop down on the cold cement step outside our front porch. I somehow feel the presence of all four men start to walk towards me and out on the front porch.
They are saying words to me, I do not comprehend anything. They are saying who was in charge the investigation, my mind thinks what investigation…..it is a blur…
“Ok” I say “I will have Travis call”, ..the men all glance at each other…wait..
As the officers are mentioning about the car accident, my mom and dad pull up on the other side of the street, they rush out of their blue Chevy… my mom.. her face says it all.
“My daughter, my daughter I am so sorry, do we know what happened?” she says with tears strolling down her face as she sits down a step below me on the cold grey cement steps of our front porch.
The officer as they are ready to leave mention to us that “so and so is in charge of the investigation here is his number”. The officers walk away, solemn that they have to be the bearer of such heart rending information.
My step-dad takes the card with the investigators name and number says his thanks them as they leave.
Lizzy shows up before the chief leaves… They swamp some information. A lesson that I was soon going to soon learn. They all leave. They all leave.
I tried to take a couple of puffs on my cigarette wet from tears; nose is all stuffed up as I weep in my mother’s arms. My mom trying to comfort but she too weeps.
“It’s gonna be all right, it’s gonna be alright” as she rocks me back in forth.
My step dad pipes up but is choked up as he says,
“It is gonna be ok, mom and I are here we will help take care of things”.
It is close to 3 in the morning now as I check my watch on my wrist. We are still outside when Luke my step dad mentions has anyone called the car insurance company.
Are you serious! I think. Things like this were the furthest thing from my mind. I had no idea, if there was a death you had to do this.
Didn’t the cops call or perhaps someone I assumed that if someone died that they was oh I don’t know a special button goes off in their department.
I grab my phone, wipe my face, blow my nose and phoned geico. Stupid automatic bull shit. I had no patience for this. My head hurt with all that was happening.
“This is Jane, how may I help you” a voice cut into my thoughts.
“Customer service” I managed to pipe out.
“Hello this is Jane from customer service, may I please have your policy number” a sickly sweet voice
“What, I don’t know it” I spoke.
“Can I have your name please” the sickle sweet voice of Jane from the customer service line replied.
“My name is Shelly Silver” I uttered in disbelief, don’t they have any freakin idea what is happening, I do not have a time for this bull shit.
Going through rest of bull shit, what is your address, phone number and email address just to make sure who I am is who I said I am.. like anyone ever wanted to be me.
“Okay, and how may I help you today ma’am” Jane said with stupid sweet voice.
“Well … there has beeennn aa ccarr accciddnet”I pronounced.
“Okay, we can assist you, let me put through the department” Jane said.
What the fuck I think, how the hell can you do this to me, I started to ball again then I hear a males voice on the other end.
“Hello this is Jeff from I what I hear there has been a car accident, may I please call you back”. Fuck you I thought, time to put my foot down.
“No, my husband died” I stated with all the force I could.
“Oh I am soo sorry” Jeff said from special department at geico. (Those words I soon meant nothing, like what did you do that you are soo very sorry for.
After gieoco was handled, it was mentioned that I should get some sleep.
No. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I could not do anything. Lizzy had left already to go down to the firehouse, to see how the other firemen were doing. I felt so betrayed, so lost, so out of place.
It seemed like forever for morning to come. But I know what I had to do when it get here. So, I just paced the house, drinking coffee, smoking my lungs off, thinking about everything yet nothing. I was just waiting to see Travis’s red dodge pick up to pull into the driveway.
As soon as 8:00 in the morning hit, I was on the phone. I figured that 8:00 in the morning on a Thursday was a reasonable time to call people.
Sitting at the kitchen table I phone his aunt. I called his Aunt Feria first. Shock…horror…these were becoming the reactions as the news was passed along. Travis’s close Aunt Feria mentioned that her and his Aunt Dede would start a phone chain to pass on this horrendous and horrible horrific piece of news.
His aunt of course crushed, passed the news on.
I heard some rustling upstairs above the dining room, where my daughter’s shared their quite large bedroom. The sounds of small feet pitter patter across the floor, my mom walked the wood staircase, down the hallway to the girl’s room. She lifted the girls up and over the childproof gate that kept them enclosed. The girls being two and three, there was no stop to the caution I would take to protect them from any form of disaster, especially with their level of curiosity.
My daughters were awake. As my mom and dad carried the girls down, they exchanged the cute good morning with the girls, and the common question that parents ask, “how’d you sleep, little ones?”
As they sleepily rubbed their eyes, one holding tight to her large purple share bear from Care bears that she dubbed Mr. Snuggles and the other holding tight to her pink fleece blanket asked her their barely understandable words,
“Where daddy” a sleepily three year old Catherine inquired. Her red curls, ivory perfect skin, emerald green eyes, one could see the Irish in this one.