I Believe in Voicemails

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I look down at the screen of my ringing iPhone and it clearly states that the caller is my best friend of eight years, Chelsey. I have some time to chat between classes, but as usual, instead of picking it up, I let it ring, ring, ring until it goes into voicemail.

30 seconds later, just as suspected, my phone tells me I have one new voicemail and I automatically listen to it. "Hey dear, I’m just leaving you my first inspirational voice mail of the semester. I hope that everything is going well and boy drama isn’t too crazy. I love you and I’m really excited to hear about everything you are going to accomplish and conquer this semester." Click.

I believe in voicemails.

Chelsey and I went to middle school and high school together and saw each other everyday. Then we graduated and I decided to fly across the country to go to school in Los Angeles while she stayed in Philadelphia. With the three-hour time difference and both of us being busy-bees in college, we kept missing each other on the phone. One day, Chelsey ended our phone tag by leaving me a lengthy voicemail sharing what was happening in her life. I called her back and left her a voicemail about what was happening in mine. Like this, we went back and forth keeping each other updated on what we were up to whenever we had a second to call.

We have been "voicemailing" each other for two years now, even though I transferred back to the East Coast.

Any sane person might ponder why two best friends wouldn’t just make the time to have a real conversation. We do; Chelsey and I catch up in person every few months. But to us, voicemails carry unique sentimental value. Voicemails are like the 21st century version of a traditional hand-written letter. We can save as many voicemails as we want onto our smart phones to listen to anytime we desire. If I’m feeling down, I just play one of the voicemails she’s left me in the past, maybe one about an inside joke we cherish or a hysterical anecdote.

I will always remember her “voicemailing” me during the lonely three-month hiatus I endured between switching schools. I was living at home and working in retail while all my friends were finishing up their first semester of college. Chelsey called me often during that time to lift my spirits. She assured me I had a bright future ahead of me and I’d made the right decision in transferring. And she was right.

No matter how far apart we are, the intonation of Chelsey’s voice and the sound of her laugh at the end of any given voicemail reassure me that we can maintain our special friendship. I believe in finding ways to stay connected. I believe in voicemails.

-Kelly Godzik

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