Humor Magazine

Dial M for Random

By Pearl
Ring-ring!  Ring-Ring!
“Good morning, this is Pearl.”
“Who is this?  Where are you?”
I blink at my phone. 
It doesn’t help, but it doesn’t hurt.
“This is Pearl,” I say.  “And where are you?”
“Well I’m – I’m Barbara,” she says crossly.  “And I’m not going to tell you where I am.”
I blink again.  There is a short silence before Barbara continues. 
“Why did you call me?”
I sigh, quietly.  Perhaps this is a test of some kind…
“I believe you called me,” I say.
“Not now,” she snaps.  “This morning.”
Barbara appears to be a bit peevish.
A light bulb goes off.  “Oh,” I say.  “I think I know what you’re talking about.  Is your number similar to –“  and here I rattle off the number I had mis-dialed earlier in the morning.
There is a silence, long enough that I begin to worry about ol’ Babs.
“Yes,” she cranks.  “Yes, it is, and you called me at 7:04.  Who calls anyone at 7:04?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I say.  “I start work at 7:00.  I’m sorry if I woke you.”
She sniffs.  “I was up at 5:00.”  I am certain that this woman is frowning.  “I saw that you called but I was out in my garden, and then you didn’t leave a number, and I’ve been worried about it all day!”
“Oh,” I say. 
There is another silence.
“It’s so nice in the morning,” she says.
I close my eyes, then shrug.  Why not.  “Yes,” I say, “but I rarely get a chance to be out in it.”
Barbara cannot contain herself.  “What?!” she says.  “Well, you should!  You should get out.  Today is going to be nice at 4:00!”
This Barbara!  She’s a bit crabby, but she seems okay.  I laugh.  “Why at 4:00?  I don’t get off until –“
And just like that, there is a click and I am listening to the dial tone.
Barbara has hung up on me.
It haunts me, that conversation.
What made her think it was going to be nice at 4:00?

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