Voice on the Machinebykl2003©
The sky was spitting rain as Mitch ascended the half flight of stairs that led to the door of his apartment. As he fished his keys out of his pocket, he mused to himself about the drabness of his life. What did he really do with himself? he got up every morning, went to work, did his eight, came home, went to bed, and started the whole thing over again the next day. Maybe he'd go out to eat on occasion, but that was the extent of things. He considered it a great night if it happened to be a good episode of "Law and Order" on the television. What a loser, he mumbled to himself as he inserted the key in the lock.
As usual, he had to wrestle with the door a little bit to get it open. Damn thing was warped, he'd called the apartment manager about it at least twice in the past two weeks, but as usual they were taking their own sweet time fixing it. When the door finally did come open, he was hit by the rush of stale air, accented by the faint aroma of cigarette smoke, coming no doubt from the guy who lived next door. "If I wanted to smell cigarette smoke, I'd start smoking!" Mitch said this aloud. He really needed to move. But where would he go? He was already paying a fortune in rent to live in this dump. Sighing, he closed the door behind him and walked across the room toward the living room window. Yeah, it was cold outside, but that was a small price to pay for fresh air.
The blinking message light on Mitch's answering machine caught his attention. He looked closer, and saw that it indicated he had three new messages. It crossed Mitch's mind that he hadn't checked the mail in a few days, but he decided there was no rush on that. He didn't want to go back out in the rain and trek across the parking lot to the row of mailboxes. That could wait until tomorrow, and hopefully it wouldn't be raining then. He punched the playback button on the answering machine.
The first message asked him to please call cardholder services at some 800 number or other. Mitch half listened with irritation. If that was the bill he was thinking of, he was only a week late. Sort of impatient, aren't they? "Tuesday, 10:19 A.M.," intoned the electronic voice that inserted itself at the end of each message.
"Hey, baby. It's Wendy." Huh? Mitch snapped to attention. The voice now coming out of his machine was somewhat low, breathy, and definitely female. Mitch's mind momentarily raced trying to think of anyone he knew named Wendy who might call him and refer to him as baby. He drew a blank. The only Wendy he had ever really known was way back in college, and they never got to the "baby" stage. Clearly, a wrong number. Still, though...
"Thank you for last night, sweetie. It was so special." Oh, that voice! It sent a shiver through Mitch's body. Clearly, this was a wrong number. There was no other explanation. No girl had ever called Mitch's number and used that deep, throaty, sensuous type of voice. Who was she? And who was the lucky guy who had spent this great night with her last night? Mitch had lost all hope of ever having a night like that with anyone. He had been married once, but it ended very badly. Mitch had what were referred to as performance problems. It wasn't a subject he liked to visit, so he usually just avoided it. His relationships with females were kept strictly on the pleutonic level, even when he might have felt something deeper. Luckily, that didn't happen often these days.
"Guess what I'm wearing? Your favorite outfit. My birthday suit." Then a laugh that would melt the polar ice cap. Ooooo, this girl was killing him! He felt the familiar bulge in his jeans. If this girl was half as hot as her voice...wow! he started having fantasies about being on a tropical island with Wendy, rubbing suntan lotion all over her nude body, her blond hair glistening in the afternoon Caribbean sun, both of them laughing, embracing, entwining around one another...
"Give me a call, baby. We need another night like last night real soon. Bye, sweetheart." Click. "Tuesday, 12:24 P.M."
She didn't leave her number! Damn it, she didn't leave her number! Mitch savagely punched the stop button in the middle of the third and last message, which turned out to be another message from the apartment manager with a lame explanation why the door repair was delayed yet again. Mitch looked at the caller ID display. Nothing. Naturally, she had a blocked number. That would figure. That voice just kept rolling around and around in his mind. "Hey, baby. Hey, baby..."
But it was a wrong number. Mitch found himself hoping she would just keep misdialing. If she kept putting in his number, maybe he'd be home sometime when she called, and maybe...
Mitch sighed and went to open the living room window. Then he settled himself on the couch, reached for the TV remote, and hit the On button. This was his life, and that was that. Certainly a phantom voice on an answering machine wasn't going to change things. He settled his head back on the back cushions of the couch as "Law and Order" began.
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