A photograph of me dressed in my third-grade school uniform materializes. Only then do I truly understand that the urgent emails and Facebook messages are not fiction but fact.
Do I remember the child in the photograph? The girl appears happy enough, but like most of my school photographs, each one tells a secret story of anxiety, household discord, and, most of all, isolation.
Was this photograph taken the year I first believed that the twin afflictions of war and immigration would subsume me?
Nursing my private pathos for decades, I did not question the absence of half my history, half my family, half my self, yet the genetic chasm left behind a burn scar in my psyche.
The next message jolts me back from the throes of history and sends a chill down the length of my spine. Each lick of my lips accentuates the dryness in my throat. I dial the number, but the call does not connect. I text, please send me your country code. A curt message is immediate admonishing me that I have all that I need.
I try placing the call once more, only to be met with a digitized message of failure. Your call cannot be connected. Please check the number and dial again. After the third failed attempt, I toss the phone across my desk. Running my fingers through my hair, my thumb finds my familiar spot of anxiety above my left eyebrow. Now what?
Apparently, the world isn’t as connected as the technological genies suggest, I grunt. Abandoning my neurotic eyebrow rubbing, I choose another obsessive activity — refreshing the Facebook page again and again.
The Skype ring tone breaks my reverie. I watch the answer and reject items flash on my screen.
History has come calling. Am I ready to answer?