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A man looks at his phone | Source: Getty Images
A man looks at his phone | Source: Getty Images

I Called My Late Wife’s Number and Surprisingly Someone Picked up the Phone – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Jun 20, 2024
08:01 A.M.

After my wife Kate's death, I often called her number to hear her on the answering machine. Once, the machine cut off, and I distinctly heard her say, "What are you doing? No!" before the call ended. Convinced it was her, I began investigating.

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It was a normal Sunday, and I sat in "Paprika," a small café in the city's heart. The area was full of life, and the smell of coffee and pastries filled the air. People laughed and talked. The baristas moved smoothly, always smiling as they worked, and music played softly in the background.

But I felt alone. This café was special to Kate and me. We came here every weekend for seven years. Without her, everything felt different. The warmth didn't reach me. Every corner reminded me of her. Our first date, her birthdays, her favorite cinnamon roll.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

I missed Kate. I missed her laugh, her touch, and her smile, so I dialed her number again, hoping to hear her on the answering machine. "Hi, you've reached Kate..." Her cheerful voice brought both comfort and pain.

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I'd called many times since she passed. It was how I remembered her. I thought about the day I proposed, our wedding, and all the times she supported me.

Kate's funeral was a few days ago. It was incredibly hard. The day was gray and cold. Empty. The ceremony passed in a blur, and everyone's words of comfort sounded distant. I couldn't believe my wife, the love of my life, was gone.

Her death was a shock, too. She died after her car fell into a canyon, and the doctors couldn't do anything. "She's gone," they said. Those words stayed with me. But I still had people who loved me.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

After Kate's death, her twin sister, Amanda, and her husband, Kyle, were my only family. Amanda was sick and used a wheelchair. She only had a few years left. Still, she told me, "We'll get through this together, Peter."

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Kyle was supportive too. "We're here for you," he said, as we shared our grief, finding solace in the nice memories we all had of Kate.

Lost in thought at that café, I didn't even feel someone approaching me until a gentle tap nudged my shoulder. It was Carmen, a relative of Kate's. I'd only met her briefly at our wedding. She was glad to see me, but I quickly realized she had no idea what had happened to Kate.

"What happened? Why are you so sad?" Carmen asked, and I told her about the accident. She was shocked. "Oh, Peter, I had no idea. That's why she hasn't been answering me…"

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

She went on to explain that she had been trying to contact Kate, unaware of her new phone number, and thus had resorted to calling the old number at their family country house. "But I guess no one has been living there for a long time, only Kate's answering machine was there," she added, a sad note in her voice.

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"Kate's voice is on the answering machine?" I asked.

Carmen said yes and gave me the number. "I'm so sorry, Peter," she said after a few more minutes and left the café.

Once I was alone, I called the number, eager to hear another version of her message. Kate's voice on the answering machine made me smile, so I called again. But on the third call, something changed. Someone picked up, and the most familiar voice came.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

"What are you doing? NO!" Kate's voice said, then silence. What did I just hear? Was it really her? I called again but only got the machine. Was my grief tricking me?

After the unsettling phone call, I felt compelled to share my experience with someone who might understand my feelings. Amanda was my first thought. Dialing her number, I braced for the conversation.

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"Hello?" Amanda's voice, tinged with surprise, greeted me.

"Amanda, it's Peter," I rushed to explain. "I just heard Kate’s voice on the phone at your family’s old country house. It sounded so real."

There was a brief pause before Amanda responded. "Peter, it's likely grief playing tricks on you," she suggested softly.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

"Could you tell me where that house is?" I insisted.

With a sigh, Amanda relented. "It's on Oakwood Lane, about twenty miles from town."

I thanked her and ended the call, setting off for the country house. The drive there was chaotic, as my brain and my heart dueled against the hope bubbling in my chest. Regardless, the memory of Kate's voice spurred me on.

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As the country house came into view, its dilapidated state struck me. The once lively place now stood silent and neglected. I approached slowly, noticing the door's fragile lock. Pushing it open, I stepped inside.

The air was thick with dust and abandonment. Walking through the rooms, I felt surrounded by echoes of the past. I quickly realized no one could be there, but I dialed the number again, craving the sound of Kate's message to assuage my heartbreak. My hope had fooled me.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

As I heard her recorded words, I walked around the sad, lonely, living room and got close to a shelf. Two glasses sat on top, and drops of water slid on their surface. Unlike the rest of the house, these look clean and freshly used.

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Frowning, I looked down and saw footprints marked on the dusty floor. I was jolted out of my pain. Someone had been here! With more questions than answers, I left the country house and headed to Amanda and Kyle's, determined to find some clarity.

***

Kyle greeted me warmly, taking a moment to comfort me for my loss again. Inside, I noticed the house was in disarray, with suitcases and clothes scattered about. Curious, I asked, "What's happening? Why are you packing?"

He smiled slightly and revealed they had found hope for Amanda in a clinic in Israel, specializing in her condition. They believed they could help her, possibly even allowing her to live a full life and walk again.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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"That's amazing, Kyle," I said, though I wondered why I hadn't been told sooner.

"It all happened so fast," he explained. "And you've been dealing with too much."

I nodded. That was true, so I went to see Amanda, glad that my late wife's twin sister looked much chipper than usual. She had a strong spirit.

"How are you holding up, Peter?" she asked, holding my hand.

After a brief recounting of my depressing new routine, I told her what happened after encountering Carmen, including the phone call and my visit to the country house.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

Amanda suggested their neighbor might have checked on the house, but that didn't explain the unkempt garden or the fresh signs of someone's recent presence. I tried to say more, but she looked too tired to keep discussing things.

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As I got up to leave, something caught my eye. Next to Amanda's bed lay a pair of house slippers. Why would she need those if she can't walk? I wondered silently. I felt a pang of curiosity but chose not to voice it.

I left her room and headed towards the front door. As I bent down to put on my shoes, something else struck me. There on the floor were shoe prints, identical to the ones I had seen at the country house. My heart raced. This was more than a coincidence. It was a clue.

I stepped out of the house quietly, my mind racing with questions and suspicions. As I got into my car, my phone rang. It was the detective working on Kate's case. He wanted me to go to the police station because new evidence had surfaced.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Once I got there, Detective Johnson revealed that Kate's car had been tampered with, meaning her accident might have been staged. I was stunned to learn I was a suspect, and even more so when Johnson mentioned a life insurance policy changed to Amanda's benefit shortly before Kate's death.

Confused and burdened with this new information, I left the police station, troubled by even more questions. My life was turning upside down again.

Back home, I felt drawn to Kate's room, a place still echoing with her presence. Stepping in, her familiar scent wrapped around me as I considered what the detective said. Compelled, I began searching through her belongings for any clue that might explain the secrets now surfacing.

Among her items, I found a notebook with an odd email address and a password scribbled in the corner. Logging into the account on my laptop, I discovered an email with attachments that sent shockwaves through me.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Photos of me and Amanda, Kate's sister, in compromising situations. I hung my head as I considered my actions. A year ago, Amanda and I had succumbed to a momentary but carnal lapse in judgment, a mistake we regretted and chose to bury.

These images were sent to Kate just before her accident, meaning she knew of the affair. But if Kate knew, why did she change her insurance policy to have Amanda as beneficiary? Was that connected? Who had sent these photos? Why now?

Somehow, I felt like Amanda had to know more than she was telling me. Unless...the woman I had seen today wasn't my sister-in-law at all. Closing the laptop, I vowed to find the answers, to understand the full scope of the tragedy that had altered my life.

As dawn approached, I made a decisive move. I secured my gun for safety and headed to Amanda and Kyle's house, driven by a need to confront the reality of my suspicions.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Upon arrival, I found their house deserted. Using my key, I entered, calling out with no response. My phone rang – it was Detective Johnson again, but I ignored the call. My focus was on finding answers.

First, I contacted the insurance company, inquiring about the payout process. The manager confirmed it was scheduled soon. After pressing him some more and begging for his sympathy, I learned the bank's name and branch where the payout was directed.

I rushed to my car, the morning sun casting long shadows on the road. I drove to the bank as doubts plagued me. Was this all just a product of my grief? The thought chilled me. Yet, I had to know. But my heart started beating a mile a minute when a police car appeared behind me, signaling to pull over.

Panic surged. I couldn't stop; not now. In a desperate move, I accelerated, dodging them until I lost them in the traffic.

I entered the bank, feeling the sweat on my forehead as I scanned the crowd. There, I spotted Amanda in her wheelchair, talking to the bank manager. Or was that Kate pretending to be Amanda?

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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Without a second thought, I grabbed a nearby customer's coffee and approached them. In a bold, almost reckless act, I poured the coffee on her leg. She jumped up, screaming at the pain, and the truth became quite clear. She wasn't paralyzed. This was Kate, not Amanda.

"How are you, Kate?" I asked, feeling both glad and dismayed that my suspicions were real. But before I could say more, the bank erupted into chaos as police led by Detective Johnson burst in.

I believe he had figured out what I had, too, because his gun pointed at Kate immediately, and he signaled for his officers to detain her. I watched as they pulled her away, and the police also grabbed Kyle, who had been waiting in the car this entire time.

The detective joined me, placing a hand on my shoulder, as he spoke softly, filling me in on the details of their entire scheme. After Kate discovered my affair with Amanda, she told Kyle and devised a plan to get rid of her sister, take the life insurance payout, and frame me for her death.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Shutterstock

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They poisoned Amanda, and then, they made it appear as if Kate had died in a car crash, with Amanda's body in the wreckage to make their plan work. That was why Kate had changed the beneficiary to Amanda recently.

"I sent a squad car after you because I was worried you might do something stupid," the detective cleared up. I nodded. That was entirely possible, but I'm glad I kept my gun safely tucked in my pants.

As I processed everything that happened, I knew that life would never be the same. I could acknowledge my errors, but nothing justified Kate and Kyle's actions. Now, I had even more to mourn.

Tell us what you think about this story, and share it with your friends. It might inspire them and brighten their day.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a trophy wife who seduced her husband's bodyguard.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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