Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 5

“A Man and His Phone” – Part 5

Jane’s sometimes boyfriend, Chris, is playing hard to get. Tentative plans to get together have ended in a tense phone call and Chris has powered off his phone. Jane has recruited her friend, Adrienne, to drive down to Chris’s apartment to see what’s what. They spot his car, so he must still be inside the high rise. Adrienne convinces Jane to wait in the lobby while she investigates. When an elevator ride to the eighth floor puts her face to face with a dark-eyed charmer, Adrienne may finally understand why Jane is such pushover for Chris.

Now you’re set – I hope you enjoy!

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“You look a little familiar,” he said. “I’m Chris, have we met?”

Adrienne stood frozen in the elevator. Chris put out his arm to stop the doors from closing and she thought he looked quite gallant doing so. He made no move to enter and instead, she stepped out into the hallway.

As the elevator doors closed behind her, Adrienne stood frozen in an internal panic, unsure of how to answer Chris’s question. They hadn’t really met. She’d only seen him from a distance at Zadar’s. She’d better not tell him her name. Jane could very easily have mentioned her to Chris.

“Uh, not sure,” she stammered. How was she going to explain herself? But Adrienne had been in a fix or two in her twenty-something life and her mind went to work quickly. She’d have to keep her eyes averted, though. She could feel his power sensors trying to lock in on her.

Chris grinned. He already liked this girl. She was confident and nervous at the same time. He swore he’d seen her before, and recently too, but he didn’t want to push it. There was no telling where that might have been and, if had seen her before, it would all come out eventually.

“Well, maybe not,” he answered, letting it drop.

Adrienne knew she had to come up with something fast. Nerves, shmerves, she had to invent a destination. “Well, I should get going. My friend is waiting for me.” That was sort of true, she told herself.

“Oh?” Chris had lived on the eighth floor for several years. It was a high rise, yes, but there were only ten apartments on each floor and he was on a hello basis with all of his neighbors. Like a card counter at a blackjack table, Chris calculated the possibilities. He was almost certain his new friend would not be hitting the dance floor with the O’Brien sisters who were well into their 80s, or with the workaholic engineer who only took time off to get new batteries for his graphing calculator. That left the newlyweds, the first-year med students who were never home, the lady with the cats and the four tenants down the hall whose average age was about fifty-two.

“Which apartment? He asked.

Adrienne did a quick scan of the apartment numbers in her line of vision as Chris watched in amusement. Down the hall were 808 and 810. What if she named his apartment number? She would have to make a wild guess and hope for the best.

“She’s in 803,” Adrienne said with authority.

Ah, yes, I know that one. “Here, I’ll show you the way,” he offered, and they began to walk towards the cat lady’s apartment. This was going to be fun.

She hesitated. “Oh, thanks anyway, I’m sure I can find it myself.” Adrienne’s phone began to vibrate again. It was Jane, of course, most likely frantic about the lack of updates. Adrienne always told Jane she was a hoverer, but this helicopter was coming in at just the right time.

She turned to Chris, scrunched her shoulders in exaggerated apology and said, “Oh, gee, sorry, I have to take this.”

Chris couldn’t help but smile. He’d give her this victory. Adrienne had no idea who she was up against. When it came to levels of play, Chris had surpassed All-Star and Super Star and was firmly established in the Hall of Fame.

“Of course,” he answered. “I have to grab something in my apartment anyway. Then I’m heading out.”

Adrienne held the phone to her ear and looked at Chris with faked distraction. Her nanosecond call with Jane had ended, with Jane commanding her to get down to the lobby right away. Unsure of how to make the break, she lifted her chin in Chris’s direction.

“Thanks,” she mouthed in pretend appreciation and turned. The relief she felt was short lived, however, because a fast exit was a must. If she could only find the door to the stairwell, she might be able to get to the lobby and out of the building before he did. Oh if only she was wearing sensible shoes.

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

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