Sunday, 8 July 2018

Bring it on now...

A few days ago, I found myself sitting on the big squashy sofa at work idly browsing through tweets on my 'phone when I received an unexpected ping. Nobody ever really texts me, so this confused me... the fact that it was from an international number confused me even more. I dithered for a while before deciding to actually, you know, read the text.

As it turned out, it was from someone I knew: an ex-colleague of mine, who (as I suddenly realised with a jolt) had previously sent me an incredibly nebulous e-mail basically consisting of "I want to ask you something. What is your 'phone number?". This text was no more informative - "can i call u now?" - and, of course, I said it was fine. Not like I was at work or anything. I even turned down the sound on Love Island in order to respond to this clearly very important call.

My 'phone rang almost the instant I send the text back. I answered with a trilled "hello?" and was answered with...

...DEATHLY SILENCE.

"Hello...?"

DEATHLY SILENCE.

"...uhm...?"

At which point the line went dead.

One of my colleagues came through at this point, looking curiously in my direction. I opened my mouth to explain what had happened, before realising that I couldn't really explain a DEATHLY SILENCE.

My 'phone jumped into life suddenly, and I swore so badly that my colleague cocked an eyebrow.

"Hello! I couldn't hear anything last time, is there anything wrong with your 'phone anyway hello how are you what did you want to ask me?" I gabbled into the mouthpiece.

DEATHLY SILENCE.

Trepidatiously, I concealed my 'phone in its carry case, and dropped it into my pocket, keeping a hand on it in case my ex-coworker decided to gift me with any more moments of complete absence. Making my way back to the kitchen (where I leave my stuff), I retrieved my bag, found my wallet and my iPod, slung the satchel over my shoulder, and was just about to walk out of the door when...

Ring ring! Ring ring! Ring ring!

By this point, however, I had begun to be more concerned about exactly what it is she wanted to ask me, as opposed to the fact she didn't appear to have a voice. We were civil when we used to work together - friendly, even. She had been taking on the job I used to do, and there was plenty to talk about then... but now? What was so important that she needed to ask me at 10pm?

And then the realisation hit me like a ton of bricks.

It's a booty call! That must be what it is! Why else would you 'phone someone at this time of night?

I pulled my 'phone from my pocket and slipped off its carry case.

Okay, stay calm, ILB. You need to let this lady know that you're flattered, but not interested. I mean, you like her as a person, but this is just far too much. I think she said she was married, as well. You've got a girlfriend; you'd be on your way back to her if you hadn't stopped to answer this call. Just hear the question, say no politely, and move on.

I hit the "answer call" button and braced myself for the DEATHLY SILENCE. I almost dropped the 'phone when I actually heard, for the first time in months, her voice.

She wanted to thank me for the lovely thank-you card I left her, she said. It had touched her very much. She was also sad to see me leave and wanted to wish me well for the future, and hoped to see me soon. And she had something to ask me, although she felt a bit embarrassed about it.

Here it comes. Just say no, and move on.

"I wanted to ask you about Brexit."

...

Brexit?! 

I'd rather have answered a booty call.

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