Can You Hear Me Now?

She marched into the airport lobby with that purposeful gait of a young, female professional very much in control and commanding attention but pretending not to notice it so much as to expect it. He couldn’t help being aware of her as she sat down in the row of seats opposite him. She saw him when she first came into the lobby. Who wouldn’t; he was a hottie. She had to look at him only once, and then she avoided looking his direction. She knew he would be watching her. She always knew. He continued to watch her as she settled in: removed her coat, checked her ticket, checked her watch and took out her cell phone.

She turned on her phone and reviewed her messages. Nothing. He should have called by now. He knows I hate that. He will have some lame excuse, I am sure. She checked her watch again. He should be awake by now. She highlighted his number and pushed the “Talk” button.

She waited several rings for him to pick up. Finally, she said, “Hello, Sweetheart. Good morning. Did I wake you? How are you? I am okay too. No, I am at the airport and I have some time, so I thought I would like to hear your voice. I missed you last night.” She listened for a minute and then said, “You were going to call me last night. What happened?” She listened again.

He stopped watching her to take out his own cell phone. He took out the microphone, stuck the earpiece in his ear, and dialed from memory.

She heard something and blurted, “Is that a cell phone I hear in the background? Where are you?”

“Good morning, Beautiful.” he said in that tone of voice that she liked so much early in the morning. “I’m fine. How are you? No, I’m still at the airport. My flight was delayed.”

“Who’s with you?” she demanded in a voice a too loud for privacy.

“Why are you whispering? Where are you?” he asked.

“You bastard!” she said half shouting. “You told me you had to work late. You slept together and had sex, didn’t you? No, it’s not the same thing! After all this time, you sneak behind my back and sleep with your wife.” She paused and lowered her voice a couple of octaves. “I know that sounds stupid, but you know what I mean.”

“What do you mean he’s there?” He felt his anger rising, and he hoped that she would hear it in his voice. “What the hell is he doing there?”

She stood up and began to walk in small circles, oblivious to the people around her. “You told me that you had separated. You said you’d never go back to her. You lied to me.”

Now he is shouting, “Where is he now? In the bathroom? You mean the master bathroom in your bedroom?”

Fighting back tears she said, “You didn’t have to sleep with her. You could’ve slept on the couch.”

He shouted again, “You slept with him, didn’t you? You could’ve thrown him out.”

She accused him over the phone, “You had sex with Judy! Don’t lie to me.”

Gesturing, he said, “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. You said you hated Bob. You said you couldn’t stand to be around him. So now, you sleep with him?”

Speaking in a calmer voice, she asked, “Bob, did you tell her about me? You said you would. You promised!”

He sat back in his seat and asked, “You didn’t tell him about me, did you?”

She listened for a while and then said, “Yes, I’m mad. I’m so pissed! I can’t deal with this! This is too much. You can’t treat me this way. I’m not shouting! Okay, I’ll listen.”

After he listened, he replied, “Judy, did you at least file for divorce? You said that last month.”

She said, “I understand that you feel sorry for her but what about me?

He said, “I know you feel sorry for him, but that is no excuse.”

Finally, she said, “Look, just get dressed and leave the house. We’ll talk about it later.”

Finally, he said, “Okay, just get rid of him and call me back.”

They ended their calls and put their phones away. He glanced at her as she pulled out a book to read. When she glanced his direction, he looked at his watch and pretended not to notice. They sat in silence and thought about what a mess their lives are.

She looked at him over the top of her book. I hope he is on my flight; my luck might change.

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