I didn’t actually have a work event the next morning. I just slept in until almost noon since I barely got any sleep the night before. I turned off my phone so I wouldn’t get any texts, emails or notifications which would shake me from my much-needed slumber.
I was shocked when I turned on my phone, felt it vibrate and heard it ding for what felt like two full minutes before it calmed down. I woke it up and looked to see my home screen flooded with little notification indicators.
The first piece of communication I cued up was a voicemail. Judging by the familiar sobs of my mother which greeted me as soon as the recording started, whatever prompted all this communication was not good.
“It’s your mom. I hate to have to call you and tell you this, but your grandma passed away last night. Just, call me as soon as you get this and we can talk. I’m sorry.”
I called my mom back. She knew I stayed the night before at grandma’s and she had a lot of questions. The authorities would likely have some questions, but they could get to that when I got to my parents’ house across town.
I decided to go to my parents’ house as soon as possible, but needed to clean myself up a little bit first. My hair was particularly a mess and my hoodie had drool on it from the night before.
I started to take my hoodie off to change into something clean, but stopped. I felt something hard in one of the pockets. I reached in and pulled out the item.
Looking back at me was a golden comb, worn with age. I marveled at it for a few moments and noticed an inscription, in cursive, on the handle – JL.