I mean, I think it’s fairly obvious they DID call, because if they didn’t, Winry would have tracked them down herself. Like there was no need for Arakawa to clarify “yeah they called” because…obviously they would have. They’re not fucking monsters. They would know Winry was worried, and in addition to reassuring Winry they’re okay, they’d want to make sure Winry was all right too since she had her soul sucked out alongside the entire country. She would have been pretty fucking livid if they had never called, not just “fake angry for five seconds”.
Whether they kept the “our bodies are back” thing a secret or not is ambiguous. I think it’s unlikely it could have been kept from Winry, someone would have told her even if Ed and Al were keeping mum, or that she wouldn’t have come down to Central to see them as soon as she could (of course, it’s possible travel to Central was impossible for her, considering the train tracks being blown up and Central being in disarray).
Which I think is why Arakawa was deliberately vague about the time skip and reunion. It’s makes good DRAMATIC sense as a scene for their reunion to be at home with the feeling Al having his body back and maybe even them being alive is a total surprise to Winry and this is the first time she’s seen it, but that doesn’t make much LOGICAL sense from a character perspective. So she compromised to be deliberately vague so she can have it both ways. Which is masterful storytelling, honestly.
There’s nothing in the scene that suggests Winry doesn’t know they don’t have their bodies back or even that this is the first time she’s seen them since the incident. She’s probably honestly crying because they were home, period, and they kept it a surprise that they were coming back TODAY and didn’t call to say they were coming or anything. But the scene is set up to feel like it’s the first time without actually saying it is, because it gives maximum feels if it comes off like a total surprise and a long awaited reunion. Arakawa wanted
to feel the full impact of this scene as the natural culmination of the arc, and then, if they sat back and thought “wait, wouldn’t Winry know they were okay/that they had their bodies back?” they’d reread the scene and see nothing indicates she doesn’t. Arakawa trusted her readers to fill in the blanks.
And yes, Ed and Al were probs told about Hohenheim during the time skip. It’s sad to think about, but Arakawa was also very deliberate in skipping over that to keep the general hopeful feel of the epilogue. The impact of the death is still felt and we can guess how sad Ed and Al were, but they’ve had time to process and make their peace with it by the time we check back in with them. Again, she lets readers fill in the blanks, and that’s by design- it’s condensed storytelling that makes for a tighter narrative.
Also, quick psa: Monday updates will be on hiatus until I’ve finished my Royai Week pieces. I am determined to do all seven prompts this time around, and I think this way I’ll be a lot less stressed :’) Thanks for understanding, guys! <33