Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 1

“A Man and His Phone”
Part 1

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris sat in his apartment reading. It was Saturday. Music was on. Playing loudly. He was reading a book about the Civil War. He liked to listen to loud music when he read. It was the perfect atmosphere for him and always had been. It did not distract him. It allowed him to escape into a different world. He was relaxed. It was getting to be time for dinner, but he was in no hurry, would figure that out later.

His cell phone was on the kitchen table. During the day, he would occasionally check for missed calls. He didn’t like running to a ringing phone so the sound was always off. He’d set it to vibrate. But he rarely paid attention to it and he almost never made calls. Now it vibrated as he sat across the room, at a safe distance. This time he just didn’t hear it. He continued to read and listen to music.

Jane had been trying to call him. She didn’t have a good reason, but she wanted to talk to him. She wanted to feel reassured that everything was good between them. She had not seen him or talked to him since the night at Club Zadar’s. They’d had plans that night but he’d blown her off, saying he was tired and then there he was, out with friends, flirting with women at the bar. She had given him a few days and still had not heard from him. When Jane felt uneasy, she jumped from one thing to the next. She could not focus until that one thing was settled.

Jane wanted to be settled, as in married with a couple kids. She envied that life. But she was so far from having any kind of life besides a working one. She could not imagine how she could get there. At twenty-five, with nothing going on, she was beginning to realize that she had a long way to go.

She checked her phone. Nothing, no call, no text. What was she thinking? Chris never texted. She knew he hated being tied to a device, but she could always hope. And he occasionally surprised her by doing something out of character. He had emailed her now and again and she loved reading them. She clung to that idea. Maybe Chris had sent her one. Nothing. Late Saturday afternoon, almost night. She had no plans. She thought about calling friends, decided against it. She decided to wait. “Maybe Chris is busy right now, but he’s getting ready to call me as soon as he’s finished whatever it is he’s doing,” Jane thought. She knew how ridiculous that sounded, even in her head. She didn’t care. She continued with this exercise. “It’s 5:30. He’s probably waiting until 6:00 to call me. I’ll wait until then. If he’s sent me an email, I’ll call him. Maybe he’ll call me while I’m checking my email. Then I won’t have to call him. If he hasn’t sent me an email, I’ll decide at 6:00 whether I’ll call him or not.”

Chris was oblivious to this. He had no idea that Jane even thought this way. He would probably be horrified to know it. He was sitting in his apartment, reading his book, listening to music. He was thinking about nothing else except the words he was reading. He was not thinking about what he would do after he finished reading. He didn’t even know how long he would be reading. When he finished, would probably think about dinner. Maybe after that, he would think about what he might do that night.

When Chris did stop reading, he got up and turned off the music. He looked at the clock. 6:17. Then he grabbed a beer out of the refrigerator and headed back to the living room. Seeing his cell on the table, though, he stopped and picked it up. He pressed the home button and saw that he had two missed calls. Jane.

Jane. “She’s probably already made plans by now,” he thought. “If she calls again, I’ll see if she wants to do something.” He put the cell back on the table, then sat on his couch and took a drink from his beer. He would have been more comfortable had he not checked his phone and seen that Jane had called. He had not planned on calling her, but maybe he would have. Now he would not. He finished his beer and got up for another one. When he sat down this time, he turned on the television. Flipping through the stations, he settled on ESPN.

His phone vibrated and this time he heard the sound. But Chris was so comfortable on his couch. The highlights from last night’s Sixers game were just coming on…

Click here to read all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Thank you for reading.


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28 thoughts on “Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 1

  1. A good start. There are men that think like this. I had a boyfriend once, who never pre-planned anything and always called at the last minute. I don’t like that so it didn’t last long for me. I wonder how long Jane will put up with it.

  2. Ah, the difference between men and women. You show that so well here. I learned early on in my dating life to never pursue a man. Much more success when a woman seems disinterested. Wonder if Jane will ever figure that out? 🙂

      1. A bit cloudy and rainy here, but a nice change from the heat and humidity. I love these quiet weekend days of writing and reading and nothing on the “docket” list. xo

    1. Hi Jill. Yes, it’s never good to lay all your cards on the table in the dating arena. That’s scary about the guy you had to get a restraining order against. I have lots of advice to dispense….now! Thanks so much for reading my little story. Happy Friday, Jill!

  3. I wish I could dredge up the very funny post/forward/whatever I remember reading several years back: a kind of side-to-side display of post-date inner monologues from both the woman and the man in question. It was pretty hilarious!

    1. Haha – sounds great! Men and women think so differently – it’s just a fact. And there’s plenty of room for story material! Thanks for reading, Jan. I appreciate your comments.

  4. This is great, Barbara, and reminds me of when I was young and dating. I agree with the others that if a girl acts disinterested, it creates motivation for the guys. 🙂 I hope Jane comes around real soon! Looking forward to Part 2.
    ~Lauren

  5. I don’t think Chris and Jane are meant for each other. If they were really interested, then they’d contact that other person instead of waiting and hoping that the other person will contact them. I guess they both have that fear of being rejected, though? As humans, we all have that fear. I remember it so well and how soul destroying it could be.
    Great first part of a story, Barabra. I love the way you’ve taken the POV from both characters.

    1. Yes, you are very right, Hugh. The obvious is never visible in the dating world. Thank goodness those days are behind me now! Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m afraid Jane has some more lessons to learn!

  6. Interesting, Barb. I look forward to the next part. I think Jane should move on and drop Chris like a hot potato. Ha! We’ll see what you come up with next. 🤗

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