Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Adrienne knew she was in trouble the moment she launched herself from the third floor landing. Three seconds of airborne athletics ended as her right heel landed, not flat on the step, but too far out, just catching the edge of the third step. So much for muscle memory. How long had it been since she’d tried this trick? Her arms flew up and back and she had just enough time to recognize her stupidity before she landed hard on her back and bumped even harder to the bottom of the stairs.
I’m an idiot! she announced and had anyone heard her, they would have agreed. By some miracle, she hadn’t hurt her head. That’s the one good thing, she decided. But her backside was screaming in pain and her right ankle was already swelling to an abnormal size.
The elevator pinged just as Jane positioned herself front and center to the opening doors. Jane was the type, so driven in whatever task was at hand, that she blocked out the goings on around her. And tonight she was so determined to make something happen, that as soon as the doors opened, she charged into the elevator, smashing directly into Chris.
“Whoa!” exclaimed Chris. “What are you doing here, Jane?” Oblivious to the extent that a woman on the hunt would go, Chris had no idea that he was the subject of a stakeout and that Jane’s partner was the lovely woman he had met on the eighth floor. Chris’s mood took a turn. Seconds earlier, the promise of something exciting was only a few floors away. His sole object in riding the elevator was to find this unnamed interest, and now he had the clingy Jane to deal with.
Jane was a planner in so many ways. She had wanted to see Chris tonight and she had tried to make plans with him. He was slippery, but she had merely altered her plans to accommodate his resistance. But her decision to come out from behind the rubber tree was fueled by a fatalistic adrenaline. Now, face to face with the subject, she had no plan.
“Uh, Chris! Hi! I thought you were going out already. I came here to see my friend, but, ha ha! I didn’t think I’d see you too!”
Jane had no hopes of Chris buying such a lame story, but the words had just spewed out of her. Sometimes quantity is better than quality, right? Now, while Chris digested her nonsense response, she had a couple seconds to work herself out of this tangle.
Oh, technology: sometimes your friend, sometimes your enemy, but always in your life. Jane’s iPhone was her crucial social connection and, much to her friends’ annoyance, she insisted on setting her ringtone and notifications to an unacceptable volume. Earlier that night, Adrienne had given her grief about the ringtone volume. “Your phone is driving me crazy, Jane. How old are you, fifty? If you don’t change those settings, I’m going to do it for you!”
“Oh, stop, Adrienne,” Jane had replied. “I need to know if Chris is trying to reach me. And besides, would you want me to miss one of your calls?”
Timing was everything and for once, Jane was right about her phone. Just as Chris demanded an explanation, her device broke out into a threatening sequence of alarming tones. Jane looked at her screen. Adrienne. “It’s my friend,” she announced. “I have to go.” She swiped the screen, turned on her heels and, with a newfound nonchalance, Jane raised her arm and gave Chris a backwards wave as she greeted her caller. “Hey, where are you?’ she asked.
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