BY MICAELA BLITZ
My phone beeps inside my handbag as I get out of the station. I check it in case it is someone calling from work or maybe Daniel, who promised he would be in touch this week. I see a missed call from a number I don’t recognise. Maybe it’s someone calling to tell me I have won the lottery, or Stephen Spielberg wants me to star in his next movie. In reality, I know it is probably just someone trying to sell PPI or see if I have been in an accident recently, which I haven’t, by the way. Even if I had why would I trust someone who called me out of the blue on the off-chance to sort out my case?!
I listen to the message:
“Hello darling, I just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you, and miss you. I’m really sorry for the things that we said last week, I didn’t mean you to get so upset. You know you can tell me anything, don’t you, and I will still love you, I’m your mother, that’s what we do. I wish you hadn’t left for London in such a mood. Please call me, so I know you are ok. I also just wanted to say also that Daddy had a bit of a fall today. Nothing to worry about, but his leg is very bruised, so he is resting it today”. I hear a voice in the background “Yes, yes, I’ll tell him. Daddy sends his love”.
But that wasn’t my mother, and I haven’t called my dad, ‘daddy’ since I was about 11. This message was obviously for a different number, but somehow, whoever it was, seems to have called me instead. Just as I am about to call her back, my phone battery dies. Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with my phone, but it seems that it only lasts about 5 minutes before the battery runs out. Very annoying!
When I get home I put my phone on charge as I make my dinner. Grilled chicken and steamed vegetables, again. Maybe I could go crazy and add some brown rice, whoop whoop! Day 3 of my new diet and I am already bored of eating. It’s not that I don’t like chicken, or even the occasional steamed vegetable, but without some yummy potatoes or a sneaky bit of pasta, it’s just, well you know… grilled chicken and steamed vegetables!!
I completely forget about calling back the mystery message leaver until the next morning when a missed call pops up on my screen from a call that I didn’t even hear.There is something very wrong with this stupid phone, maybe I should get a new one.
“I have still not heard from you, and know you might not want to talk to me, but I can’t bear not speaking to you. We were both angry, and said things we didn’t mean. I know you are a sensible boy, but I just think you seem to have lost your way a little bit. Daddy is feeling a bit better, but is still very bruised. I saw Robert’s mother the other day, and she said you haven’t spoken to him for ages either. You used to be so close, like brothers. Please, call me darling. Just to let me know you are ok”.
Poor woman, I can hear her crying as she ends the message. Sounds like her and her son really need to talk, and I feel a bit bad that she has poured her heart out to my answerphone instead of to him.
“Hello, um, my name is Sara. I just wanted to let you know that you seem to have the wrong number, and have left messages for me instead of the person you were trying to get through to. Sorry about that, and hope you manage to speak to your son soon, bye.”
I didn’t quite know what to say. ‘You sound like you could do with a hug’, or ‘Sorry you and your son had a falling out’. I just hope that she gets the message and her son calls her back some time soon.
That evening I head to the gym. Nothing like an hour being shouted at by your personal trainer to make yourself feel better, not! I don’t know if she had got out the wrong side of bed this morning, or if she was just born angry, but he seemed to be making me work twice as hard as usual. I struggle to keep up at the best of times, but today it was impossible. She is more like a scary headmistress or a sergeant major in the army than a fitness coach.
The next morning, every muscle in my body seems to ache, including ones I didn’t even know existed. “I can’t believe I pay good money to feel this much pain”, I joke to Lucy at work. It’s her fault I even got a personal trainer in the first place. She had lost around 2 stone over the past 8 months through exercise and diet, and she recommended this woman to me. To be honest, I find the gym very boring when I go on my own, and it is much easier to cheat when no one else is checking up on you, so that’s why 3 times a week, I am running, squatting, and jumping my heart out whilst some woman in a tracksuit orders me around! “Isn’t she amazing?” Lucy had said “you will definitely see some results soon!” Perhaps, I think to myself, but I am not sure being unable to walk properly was the result I was hoping for.
At lunchtime, my phone rings. It’s Daniel. Finally.
“Um hi there, how are you?”
“Fine thanks, you?” I am trying not to sound too harsh on him, but the guy did say he would call me back about a week ago, and so far nothing.
“Sorry not to get back to you. Things have been a bit crazy with me at the moment, but don’t want to bore you with all that. Would you still like to meet up with me again? Maybe a coffee after work this week. Tonight?”
“Actually, that could work. Maybe we could try that new café in Hendon?”
“Cool, um ok, then. Sorry again about not calling, but I am looking forward to seeing you”
And so he should be sorry. These men, honestly, what are they like? I had forgotten how rubbish they can be. It’s not like I am forcing him to go on a second date with me. When we met at that Friday night dinner, he had seemed quite keen, but maybe that was because he had a few l’chaims with the rabbi during dessert. It was him that had found me on Facebook and tried to ‘friend’ me, and it was him who had messaged me to meet up.
My phone rings again, but then does that weird going straight to answerphone again. Seriously, if this phone doesn’t start behaving itself, I am going to upgrade it!
I listen to the message:
“Darling, it’s Daddy. I need your help. He has taken a turn for the worse, and we are on our way to the hospital in an ambulance….”