Always Return Your Phone Calls

Always Return Your Phone Calls

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul

Always Return Your Phone Calls

All you need is love.

John Lennon

[EDITORS’ NOTE: We received this story from a young reader who wanted her story told but wishes to remain anonymous. ]

Angela knew that Charlotte, her best friend, was having a rough time. Charlotte was moody and depressed. She was withdrawn around everyone except for Angela. She instigated arguments with her mom and had violent confrontations with her sister. Most of all, Charlotte’s bleak and desperate poetry worried Angela.

No one was on particularly good speaking terms with Charlotte that summer. For most of her friends, Charlotte had become too difficult. They had no interest in hanging out with someone who was so bleak and in so much pain. Their attempts to “be a friend” were met with angry accusations or depressed indifference.

Angela was the only one who could reach her. Although she would have liked to be outside, Angela spent most of her time inside with her troubled friend. Then a day came when Angela had to move. She was going just across town, but Charlotte would no longer be her neighbor, and they would be spending far less time together.

The first day in her new neighborhood, out playing with her new neighbors, Angela wondered how Charlotte was doing. When she got home, shortly before twilight, her mother told her Charlotte had called.

Angela went to the phone to return the call. No answer. She left a message on Charlotte’s machine. “Hi Charlotte, it’s Angela. Call me back.”

About half an hour later Charlotte called. “Angela, I have to tell you something. When you called, I was in the basement. I had a gun to my head. I was about to kill myself, but then I heard your voice on the machine upstairs.”

Angela collapsed into her chair.

“When I heard your voice I realized someone loves me, and I am so lucky that it is you. I’m going to get help, because I love you, too.”

Charlotte hung up the phone. Angela went right over to Charlotte’s house, and they sat on the porch swing and cried.


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