It was over a month ago now, I remember the day well. It was the night I found that awesome sushi joint. There was a bit of a cold snap that week, I remember because I was wearing my favorite pink hoodie. That was the day it began, or it was supposed to. After a few phone calls we finally decided to meet. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious. You said you knew how to help me. You said you had what I needed. I believed you.
That was the first time you didn’t show up. It wouldn’t be the last. I waited patiently, but you never came, you didn’t even call to cancel. I was crestfallen. Why had this happened, I wondered? Unable to contain my curiosity, I called you a few days later. I needed answers, closure… something. And oh to my joy! You hadn’t blown me off at all! You were sick, had come down with something nasty. It was going around I said, enthusiastic to believe anything other than the possibility of being stood up. Oh, you didn’t have my right phone number, you called? Of course you did! How silly of me to think otherwise!
You took down my correct number and promised to call, just as soon as you were feeling better. “Next week sometime,” you said, “…we can talk about a time I can come over, ok?”
You never called.
I couldn’t accept it. I had to try again. I’m stubborn that way. So I called you. This time you sounded different, disconnected somehow. Not at all the helpful kind voice I was used to. It was like we were strangers. You said you’d try again, that you would come in a few days, sometime in the afternoon. I asked for more specifics and that upset you. “I’ll call when I’m on my way,” you said callously hanging up before I could argue.
What could I do but wait once again, and hope.
That day, a sense of foreboding loomed over my head like a seagull meticulously placing his aim. I left work early, wanting to prepare myself mentally for your arrival, and any resulting confrontation. I could have prepared all day and it wouldn’t have made a difference, you never came.
Unable to deal with what this last slight could possibly mean, I left town. I stayed away for days, but the anger and resentment you kindled in my gut would not be extinguished. The anger was a cold, bitter feeling, seeping into every crevice and chilled me to the bone. However I tried, I could not get warm. I couldn’t stand it anymore; I had to talk to you. I needed you. Dialing that all too familiar number I waited, holding my breath, for you to answer.
Staring with nothing short of complete confusion at my phone, I realized the worst… your number has been disconnected.
Redialing frantically, hoping it was some glitch or a faulty connection I waited for the phone to dial.
After three more attempts, I knew it was no glitch. You were gone. Just like that.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: As someone who doesn’t do very well with the mundane tasks of being an adult, i.e. grocery shopping, setting (and keeping) a budget, scheduling maintenance, there is nothing that ticks me off more than when I go to the trouble to schedule an appointment and I get stood up. December 1st I had a scheduled appointment with Crum’s Climate Control, the people who installed my new AC unit last year to come and do a free maintenance inspection, provide me with my complimentary filter and fix whatever was causing the system to click on and off continuously. Well, they never showed. Not even a phone call. The following week I discovered that the entire fleet had come down with a nasty cold and they would have to call me back the following week to reschedule. Oh, and they had an old number, which explained why I never received a call. Ok, fine, I could understand that, things happen, whatever. Only, I never received a call to reschedule. When I finally called THEM back, I was directed to a clueless (and rude) guy who had no idea who I was, or what I wanted (I can’t see your notes in the account) but I was finally able to explain what it was I needed and we set a time for the beginning of the next week for someone to come out. Since he wouldn’t give me a specific time (after 12 but before 5 in the afternoon), I decided to go home early from work to wait for them… I was getting desperate. 4pm rolls around, nothing. I called and called and guess what? Their phone mailbox was full. What?!? How does that even happen? This is supposed to be a business? Well, I think I got my answer today. Calling again this afternoon, ready to lay someone out, I was instead immediately hung up on after dialing. The number was no longer in service. Awesome. Not only is tonight dipping down into the 20s and thanks to them my heat doesn’t work (I’m under currently in my thickest hoodie, flannel pjs and socks buried under my heaviest quilt) but it looks like the people who promised free service are now defunct. Sigh. Brrrr…..
Love & Squirrels.