Answer Phone


Lindsay lay on the sofa tucking into her ice-cold pot of strawberry cheesecake Häagen-Dazs. She wore her thick comfortable white dressing gown and wet hair. Being long it was still soaking from the shower that she had taken in an attempt to wash away her blues.

When she was not peering into the bottom of the small cardboard pot she sat transfixed by the movie playing on her large plasma screen on the far wall. She watched her favourite film “Some Kind Of Wonderful”, a film from back in the 1980’s, one of the old reclaimed DVD’s she’d managed to find in an old curiosity shop on Baker Street.

Lindsay always watched this when she was depressed, and tonight was no exception. Keith the main protagonist of the film was just showing the object of his desire, Amanda Jones, around the museum that he spent so much of his time in. He painted a picture of her and managed to convince a friend of his to hang it on the wall of the museum and allow them to visit there in the middle of the night.

It was one of her favourite scenes as she always thought it quaint that people used to go and look at art hung up in buildings, nowadays they just called the pictures up on the viewer in the comfort of their own home.

The phone rang. Lindsay just knew that it would be Steve. It had been a good four hours since he’d last left a message. He’d seemed frantic and still a little drunk then but she didn’t have the courage to take the call herself. He hadn’t left much of a message, still struggling to join the words together to make a coherent sentence.

The phone hit the required number of dials and the answer machine kicked into life as Lindsay pre-recorded voice started to take the call. “Hello, you have reached Lindsay’s residence. I’m not around right now and considering that you have activated the night time message then it is well past my bed time, so I’m probably fast asleep. You know what to do after the tone, so go ahead and do it.”

She almost felt tempted to answer the call but resisted at the last minute.

“Lindsay, it’s Steve, I know your there, I know you’re awake, please pick up the call.”

There was silence for a moment as if Steve actually expected her to take the call but again she left him hanging.

“Ok then, well, err, I know you’ve just had that new memory chip put in your phone so I can speak for a long time, so I’m gonna.”

That was all she needed four hours of Steve prattling on about things. She was upset enough about the events of tonight as it was. No, check that, devastated. She had not imagined that Steve would allow them to break up, she had been calling his bluff when she had suggested it, she never thought in a million years that he would act upon it. There were now many issues to deal with in her own mind, she did not need Steve giving her a hard time about  it.

 “I’ve already thought a lot about last night, and I’m sorry, I didn’t under-stand. I knew what you did was wrong but there was no real harm done in the end. It’s Simon that I need to take my grievances out on… and I intend to.”

“I know we can work through this, I need us to work through this. I can’t imagine my life without you. It’s been just over twenty four hours and I’m a wreck already. I just looked at myself in the mirror and I’m terrible.”

Lindsay visualized what he’d be like. He’d probably been drinking heavily since she’d last seen him, although he sounded like he was on the sobering side of that particular binge. His hair would be very ruffled and he would probably be still wearing the same clothes from last night. The white shirt would no doubt be a little alcohol stained and a little less on the white side.

“I’m going to put the phone on to viewer, It means I won’t be able to talk for as long but you’ll see what a state I’m in when you view this message.”

She thought about it for a moment then turned to the phone’s base unit and spoke clearly. “Phone, visuals, main viewer, split screen, secrecy.”

As soon as she spoke the words the plasma screen’s display split in half showing the film on one side and a rather dishevelled looking Steve in the other. He was indeed just as she imagined him, still in his drink stained clothes from the night before.

“Look at me, you drive me crazy. I can’t think straight. I know you can see me sat there in your fluffy white dressing gown, eating your chocolate ice cream and watching that damned stupid film of yours. She doesn’t like that picture you know.”

Lindsay managed a smile. It seemed that after everything there was no denying that they really knew each other. She could forgive him for getting the ice cream of choice wrong, and after all, two out of three ain’t bad.

“I know I shouldn’t have let you go, but when you said that we should take a break from each other it really hurt. It was like you plunged your hands straight into my chest cavity, ripped out my still pulsating heart through all my entrails, throwing it all on the floor and then jumping on them with such hatred, venom and malice. All that but a million times worse. You’re killing me.”

Lindsay raised another smile. Steve was always an exaggerator and a man with a very vivid imagination.

He continued. “I only agreed to us splitting because I thought it was what you wanted. I didn’t want it, I never want it and I know you don’t want it either. But it’s what you asked for so I thought that it would show you how much I love you if I let you have what you wanted. If I love you enough to leave you go and all that… I didn’t think I was meant to put up a fight but now I do. We gotta sort this out. I’m nothing without you, you’re so good for me and if you’re honest, I’m so good for you.”

There was no denying this. He was good for her, they were good for each other. She felt alive around him. But she had made that mistake of almost sleeping with his best friend. They were both drunk and being honest, Simon had taken advantage of her. But she’d let herself get in that position and she should have known better. It hadn’t actually gone anywhere as both had come to their senses early enough, but she knew that it wasn’t something she could keep from Steve and she’d expected him to make more of it. But he hadn’t and in the end, that appeared to be the crux of her problems.

“I know we can work this out, just give me another chance, please come and see me tomorrow, let me prove to you how much I want and need you in my life.”

Lindsay spoke to the phone unit. “Phone, answer with visuals— Hi, Steve”.

“Oh, hi.” The shock of seeing her was evident on his face, he hadn’t really expecting her to talk to him but he had to give it a try.

Written Without Prejudice
written without prejudice
Stories to go to bed with
stories to go to bed with

home to icemark