I Just Called to Say

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I was typing furiously when my cell phone rang.

Glancing down at its screen, I saw that it was Husband calling.

That’s odd. I thought he was downstairs.

Despite being in the middle of a particularly tricky scene in my novel, I reached for the phone.

Husband and I have never been the kind of people to call each other throughout the workday, eager to whisper sweet nothings or tell each other the latest office gossip.

Let’s face it: sometimes a juicy tidbit of workplace intrigue even trumps phone flirting, but that’s another story.

We’re two of a kind in that we like to leave each other to get on with our respective days. Work is for work, home is for private. We are secure in the knowledge that we can share our innermost thoughts, our developing views on the weakening global economic picture or who said what to whom on that topic (oh no she didn’t!) over a relaxing glass of wine that evening.

A phone call during the day usually signals an urgent question or important piece of information, one that warrants direct conversation rather than dashing off a quick email.

This being a weekend, I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up the phone. Maybe he had gone out to run a couple errands and simply wanted to see if I needed anything.

‘Hey there, what’s up?’ I asked brightly.

I was met with silence on the other end of the line.

Thinking perhaps he hadn’t heard me, I repeated my salutation. Again, nothing.

Except… wait, was that heavy breathing? I listened carefully, hearing only some deep breaths and the occasional grunt.

What the ?!?

A thought came to me. No, he wouldn’t, would he? Had he suddenly decided to go all unpredictable on me, trying to spice up a Saturday afternoon with a frisky phone call?

I listened closely, but he wasn’t saying anything. And even Husband knows that women like to hear words, preferably meaningful phrases, when being wooed.

My mind immediately turned from frolic to confusion to concern. Had he locked himself out and couldn’t speak because his arms with full?

Was he ill? Injured? Had something happened and he couldn’t speak?

My mind racing with a host of potential scenarios, I hit the ‘save’ button. (Face it, even in a panic I am nothing if not practical.)

Heading for the stairs I called out Husband’s name.

Reaching the first floor, I darted into the living room, then stuck my head in the family room. I even opened the front door to see whether he was standing outside, too laden with packages and shopping bags to ring the doorbell.


As I headed down the hallway toward the kitchen, I caught a glimpse of him outside in the garden. Breathing heavily and appearing to be sweating, I saw him wipe his brow.

Oh no. He’s too young to have heart issues…

I yanked opened the door, ready to rush to his side.

‘Hi’ he called cheerfully, looking up.

‘You called me! Are you okay? You didn’t speak and I thought…’ I saw him set down the pruning shears and reach for his phone in his back pants pocket.

And then I realized the truth.

I had been butt-dialed.

‘Hey, while you’re down here, would you get me a glass of…’ he asked. I had already turned on my heels and was walking back inside, not waiting for the rest of the request.

If he thinks he can interrupt a delicate scene when I’m in the writing zone and get a cold Coke out of it, he’s got another thing coming! I muttered to myself as I closed the door.

Still, a smile tugged at the corners of my mouth.

Obviously I’ve still ‘got it’. After all, it had been me that he butt-dialed.

Image credit: monsterdimka, morguefile.com



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