Sunday, April 21, 2013

She Is Where, Part 39

When she got home from work that night, the phone rang and there was more of the same -- heavy nasal breathing, a car horn, static.  She hung up and called right back using the return call feature her carrier provided and, yes, it was the Nazi-lover, being a stalker.  She told him who it was -- didn't he have Caller ID?  Why didn't she have Caller ID herself?  She used to have Caller ID but that phone broke -- and that if he did it one more time, she'd call the police.

"Fine," he said, and hung up.

That might have been that but she got in her car and drove to a nearby Radio Shack and bought their least expensive regular phone with a Caller ID feature.  When she plugged it in at home she thought, there, now that really is that.

Sixty seconds later the phone rang.

"Caller unknown.  Number unknown," said the Caller ID.   Of course it did.

"Hello," she said tentatively.

"Hey," said a familiar voice that sounded far away.  "It's Connie.  How are you?"

She was silent while her jaw went slack.

"Hello?" asked Connie.  "You there?"

"Yes," she said, "Yes, I'm here, Connie.  How are you?"

"Oh, been better, been worse.  I've definitely been better," he said.  "I'm just calling to wish you a Happy Halloween."

"That's next month," she said.  "Can you wish me that in person?"

"Oh, maybe not," he said.  "Listen, please call Kevin.  If Kevin's not there, speak to Mrs. Kevin.  Tell one or the other to please activate Plan B."

She wrote it down.

"Okay, Connie.  I'll call right now," she said.  "Anything else?"

"I've been thinking about you every day and I hope you've been out living your life," he said.

She breathed a sigh of relief.

"I have been," she said.  "I met a Holocaust Denier, last night."

"What do you mean?" he said.

"Someone who says the Holocaust never happened," she replied.

"Who doesn't think the Holocaust happened?" he asked.

"Well, this guy," she said.  "Long story short, we screamed at him in public then we ate clams and drank Rum Punch."

"Oh, fried clams?" he asked.

"Yes, fried clams."

"Who doesn't think the Holocaust happened?" he asked.

"We kept asking that and then we drank too much and went home in cabs."

He was quiet.

"I need to get back there so you don't have to deal with that crap," he said.  A car honked on his end of the phone and she heard a crow's caw, loud, like it had major objections.  "Please, tell Kevin and Mrs. Kevin."

She picked up the piece of paper on which she'd written the instructions.

"Please activate Plan B," she read.

There was a pause on his end, then he said, "Every day I think about you," and then he was gone.

She immediately picked up her cell phone and called Kevin.

"Yeah, well, hey, hi," said Kevin.   "My lovely wife and I were just talking about you and wondering how you are.  We were talking about Connie and hoping he's okay."

"That's why I'm calling, Kevin," she said.  "I just heard from Connie and he told me to ask you to please activate Plan B."

She heard Kevin suck in breath.  The person who spoke next was not the big, lovable lug she'd come to know.  This Kevin was all efficiency, expedience, and urgency.

"Just now?  He called just now?" asked Kevin.

"Yeah," she said.  "As soon as he and I hung up, I called you.  Called ID said caller and number unknown."

"Did he say anything else?" Kevin asked.

"That he thinks about me every day.  That he hopes I'm living my life," she shared.

 There was silence on his end except for what sounded like fingers drumming on wood.

"I'll call you back," said Kevin.  "If not tonight, then soon."

Kevin hung up. 

She walked into the bathroom and looked at herself in the medicine cabinet mirror.

"What the fuck?" she asked herself.  While she was in there, she decided to brush her teeth.  When she was done she looked at herself again.

"The fuck?" she asked then snapped off the light and paced around her apartment for twenty minutes until she felt like she could sit down and watch TV.

She saw her own reflection in the TV screen.

"Fuck!" she said to it.

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