I can't say I wasn't nervous. What would I say? How would I explain? The phone rang into my ear as I waited.
It felt like forever before someone picked up.
"Hello?" It was a gruff male voice, one I didn't recognize.
"Um, is William Ferguson there?"
"He's a little," the voice pulled away from the phone for a moment and then returned, "preoccupied at the moment."
"It's important that I talk to him immediately. Please put him on the phone."
"You wouldn't happen to be Crystal, would you?"
My heart sank. Something was wrong. How could this person possibly know me?
"Just put my Daddy on the phone. Please."
The voice laughed, "Sure thing." Again the voice moved away from the phone, "Hey! It's your daughter, she wants to talk to you. You can take it? All right." The voice returned, "He says he can take it. Just let me remove the duct tape."
A yelp of pain echoed through the phone followed by a stern "quiet" from the man on the phone. Some more shuffling and then a voice came over the phone, one I recognized.
"Hello?" I couldn't help but tear up when I heard his voice, "I don't know what kind of sick joke you're playing bu-"
"Daddy, do you remember what Mommy told us before she died? She was laying there pale and weak; so weak that she couldn't hold my hand. I was crying and you were trying to hide your sadness for me even though I could always see it. Do you remember?"
"How did you-" He sounded surprised.
"Daddy, she told you that the best moments of her life were the years she spent with you. She said," painful memories stung me to the bone, "She said that even though she'd only had a few years to spend with us, she couldn't imagine another life she would have rather lived."
"Oh my God." I could hear the surprise in his voice, "Crystal. How?"
"That's not all, then she looked at me and told me to love with everything I had. Then she closed her eyes, Daddy, she closed her eyes for the last time."
"You- you sound older. How did this happen? When can I see yo-", I heard a loud thunk as he was cut off. "THAT'S ENOUGH!" The other voice returned.
"So, I have a message to you from Patrick." The voice was very calm and dangerous, "By now, you've probably found that all your money is gone, right? That's why you had to call here."
They had my Daddy; Patrick had my Father. I felt the blood rush from my face as I whispered into the phone, "Yes."
"He thought you would, so I was told to wait here until you called and then tell you this." He laughed lightly, "Patrick says, 'A life for a life.' "
I heard him put the phone down and in the distance I heard my Daddy's voice, "Crystal, I love yo-"
The loud bang of a gun echoed through the phone.