The phone buzzed.
It was a text message, but he did not recognize the number. He looked at the text, it was just the number 10. He deleted it and went about his business, which was basically being sprawled out on the couch playing a video game.
His phone buzzed again, another text. This time it just read “9”. He tried to recall whose number this might have been but he didn’t know anyone with an 812 area code and he had no idea what area of the country that would be in.
He set his phone down on the end table and went in the kitchen to get something to drink. He heard the phone buzzing again as he re-entered the room, picked it up and saw the number “8” displayed on another text message. Irritating to say the least, but he was sure there was an explanation
He typed in the message “who is this?” and hit the send button. No reply for a few minutes and then he saw a response saying “7”.
“What are you doing?”….SEND
His mind was completely off of his video game now, trying to figure out who was sending this countdown to him and why. Was it someone he knew? He clicked on the phone icon at the top of the texting screen, but it went straight to voice mail with one of those automated messages telling him what number he just called and that they were away from their phone at this time.
He had flashbacks of when he was a small child and refused to eat his dinner or clean his room, his parents would start counting backwards from 10 and if they got to 1, well he usually had something taken away from him until he had “learned his lesson”. He reached over and turned off the video game, then reached for the remote control and hit the POWER button to turn that off as well.
Was this because he hadn’t called his parents in a while? Was this someone telling him that he had better do something quick before he lost something that he treasured?
“Why are you doing this? What do you need me to do?”…SEND
His mind was racing now, what did he need to do, or do differently? There was so much that he wanted to do, he just never seemed to get around to it. He looked around his apartment and saw that it was a mess. He couldn’t remember the last time he cleaned up. He hated his job, but it “paid the bills”. His phone buzzed again.
His hands were sweaty and his heart was racing for some reason. Why is he feeling this way? He was sure that these texts were all just a prank, I mean what could happen when it gets down to “1”? Was the world going to end? Was someone going to break into his apartment and open fire with a machine gun? Was something going to happen to someone he loved? He tried dialing that number again but got the same stupid voice mail
“Stop! This isn’t funny”….SEND
He set his phone down and stared at it. Silence filled the room as he thought about all the things that he needed to change in his life. In the back of his mind he could hear his little voice telling him that “nothing changes if nothing changes.” He went into the kitchen and got a pad of paper and started writing down a list of everything that he wanted from life, all of his dreams. All of the things that he always told himself that there was no way that they would ever happen. He had no idea why he was doing this, but this countdown seemed to light a fuse in him. He was wasting his life and this person on the other end of the phone apparently knew this and was telling him that he had better start getting his stuff together before it was too late.
Suddenly his phone buzzed again. He just stared at it for a while before picking it up. He was pretty sure he knew what it was going to say. That his time was up. That it was too late for him. But he wasn’t ready to give in, he wasn’t ready to just give up just yet. He turned off the phone and looked at his list. #1 on the list was a better relationship with his parents, he grabbed his car keys
Meanwhile, at a small suburban house near Evansville IN, 5 year old Rebecca runs into the kitchen where her Mom was fixing dinner and holds out her mother’s IPhone…
“Look Mom, I used your phone to count backwards from 10!!