Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jane’s adrenaline burst into overdrive when she heard what could only be Chris’s footsteps as he slowly climbed the zig-zag steps to the second floor. She’d never been able to light a fire under Chris and for once she appreciated his laid-back style. But even though he was taking his time, Jane and Adrienne had only seconds to act.

“Quick!” she hissed over to Adrienne. “Get up, and do it fast!”

Adrienne looked at Jane’s face, now spewing authority. She’d always had the upper hand with Jane, but something had shifted. Leaning on her good leg, she pulled herself up to a crouch and whisper-screamed back, “Help me!” And like a 120 pound forklift on jet fuel, Jane went behind her friend, boosted her up to her feet, opened the door to the second floor hallway and pushed her through.

Jane’s plan was for them both to escape the stairwell before Chris got to the top of the second floor landing, but there was no more time.

_____

Something strangely pleasant was itching at Chris. As he climbed the stairs from the lobby to the second floor, he reviewed the recent events. Jane had entered this stairwell just moments before. And only shortly before that, the lovely young woman whose name he didn’t know, with the less than sensible shoes had begun her descent from the eighth floor. They both claimed to have friends in the building. “Hmmmm,” he thought. Well, maybe that was technically true.

As he reached the midpoint, he heard some fierce whispering. He smiled and turned slowly to climb the second half of the steps, hoping to hear what they were saying. Because this was getting interesting. Instead, what he heard was the door slamming and, when the landing came into view, there was Jane, looking charmingly frazzled, holding a familiar-looking pair of shoes.

“Where’s your friend?” he asked.

“What friend?” Jane replied, trying her best to look blank and stall. But by the amused look on Chris’s face, Jane suspected that her answer could get her into an even bigger mess.

“The one who’s missing a pair of shoes,” he laughed.

“What do you mean, Chris? These are my shoes.” And like a gift from above, a brand new story popped into Jane’s head. “I told you I knew someone in your building. You’re not the only one who lives here, you know. She had borrowed my dancing shoes and I told her I absolutely needed them because tonight I’m hitting the dance floor at Karma.”

“Oh, my darling Jane,” he answered. “Those can’t be your shoes because I’m sure I saw them on someone else tonight.”

“What are you, the shoe police? Besides, these shoes are the rage this year. Everyone has them.”

Chris was certain he had just caught Jane in her second lie of the evening. Yet he did not seem mad. In fact, what was that look on his face?

Jane had no idea, but it was a pretty good look.

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Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Chris stood in the lobby and watched Jane march towards the stairwell. Was that dramatic flip of her long blonde hair as she chattered into her phone directed at him? And if so, what on earth was she telling him? He felt a little stung that she’d seemed to have won their confrontation. He had every right to ask her what she was doing in the lobby of his apartment building, just hours after he’d told her he didn’t want her to come over. Could she possibly have a friend who lived in this same building? Chris thought that was highly unlikely. She would have mentioned it, wouldn’t she? Oh what did he care anyway! Chris wasn’t down in the lobby to worry about Jane. She could do what she wanted. He remembered his purpose. Now, where would that mysterious and oh so intriguing girl he’d met on the eighth floor be? If she’d taken the stairs, surely she’d be down by now…

____

Adrienne sat at the bottom of the third floor steps, away from the door to the second floor hallway. She had righted herself enough to fish out her phone and call Jane, but she could tell she’d need help to get on her feet. She looked down at her ankle. Not pretty, but it didn’t look broken. She’d seen plenty of injuries on the lacrosse field and had suffered a few of her own, though never a broken bone. She was no doctor, but since her ankle looked swollen but otherwise together, with nothing sticking out, she guessed that it was just a bad sprain. I can hope, can’t I? she asked herself. But her back was another issue. Her tailbone was not singing a happy tune. So much for hitting the dance floor at Karma tonight. Adrienne’s frustration was beginning to build. She’d conspired with Jane on a few of her own goose chases, but they’d never resulted in injury. This was ridiculous!

Jane exploded through the bottom of the lobby stairwell door and tore up the one flight to the second floor. “Adrienne!” she exclaimed. “What on earth happened?”

“What do you think happened, Jane? I was racing down the stairs to get to you before Chris reached the lobby, but I slipped.”

“You didn’t try to run down these stairs in those outrageous shoes, did you?”

Jane was looking a little too much like a scolding parent right now and that’s the last look Adrienne had expected. She wasn’t about to admit that she’d tried her old trick of skipping down multiple steps. This was hands down Jane’s fault. And like an unannounced tsunami, a wave of ferocious anger overtook Adrienne. Forget the fact that she was kind of intrigued herself by Chris, and that she never would have met him alone like that or had the chance to flirt, yes, she could admit to herself, flirt with him. Now she was stuck at the bottom of the stairwell with a fat ankle and a backbone that had bounced along too many hard metal steps. “Do you think I’m stupid? Of course not! You’re a crazy person, Jane. I don’t know why I let you talk me into this asinine plan. Get me up and let’s get out of here before Chris finds us.”

Adrienne’s voice echoed through the stairwell and was replaced by the heavy clank and bang of the lobby entrance door opening wide and slamming shut. No time to tell Adrienne that Jane had already seen Chris in the lobby. The sound of climbing footsteps made their own echo as he approached…

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – A Man and His Phone

Welcome to A Man and His Phone – a weekly series of relationship mishaps!
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 7

“A Man and His Phone” – Part 7

Jane and Adrienne are two single twenty-somethings in the midst of a comic scheme to spy on Jane’s love interest, Chris, who has refused to make plans with her. Read on as Adrienne tears down the stairwell of Chris’s apartment building to catch up with Jane, who is hiding in the lobby. Will Chris, who, by chance has met Adrienne in the hallway, follow?

Let’s see what happens!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The elevator descended and Chris smiled as he pictured Adrienne racing down the stairwell. He was definitely intrigued with this woman. He tried again to remember where he might have seen her, but there were too many possibilities. It didn’t matter. This kind of meeting was just his thing because Chris was great at being charming when he first met a woman. It was the relationship part that always tripped him up. Not that he cared much anyway. He’d proven time and again that he was not interested in the long term. But no point in dwelling on the past. He had no conscience. Every new start had the promise of excitement. The man who had, a couple hours earlier, wriggled out of a date with the perfectly lovely Jane, simply because she was getting too clingy, was now headed towards something much more interesting. But interesting might not be the right word to describe what he was soon to encounter.

As the elevator door opened to the lobby, Chris patted the iPhone in his pocket. When was the last time I charged this thing? he wondered. He hoped there was enough juice in it to get Adrienne’s number.

_____

This waiting had gone too long. Jane wanted some kind of development. Anything would do at this point. She was beginning to see the holes in her plan. Adrienne had been right. And crouching behind a lobby rubber tree had gotten old. She began to feel like she was part of an I Love Lucy episode. But more troubling was that the curious stares from people passing by had turned to something else. She was one minute away from being confronted by a concerned resident.

Enough was enough. Time to take matters into her own hands. She looked over to the elevator doors. How many times had she ridden one of those elevators with Chris? Not enough, she believed. Her hissing call to Adrienne had gotten her nothing. Who knew where she was now and why she had provided no information! A surge of power and determination seized her. No plan now except to take action. Forget this tree. Forget Adrienne. I’m going up to find Chris for myself! Jane nearly knocked over the rubber tree as she headed to the elevators.

_____

Adrienne was tearing down the stairwell. She wasn’t sure if Chris would follow, but a small part of her hoped he might. She smiled at the grin he’d given her. What was that? Chris had certainly charmed her, but that was something to sort out later. The only thing on her mind now was getting down the endless stairs, finding Jane and getting out of there. Her adrenaline was flowing. I’m in pretty good shape, she complimented herself. With that boost, Adrienne began skipping a step or two in her descent. The thrill of the extra time in the air invigorated her and she remembered the competitions she and her brother used to have when they were growing up in Plainsboro. “How many steps can you skip going down to the playroom?” he’d challenge her. And a minute later they would be skipping four and five, driven by the challenge.

I could do it then, so I can do it now, she reasoned. With that quick thought, Adrienne launched herself from the top of the third floor landing and aimed for the fourth step. No point in trying for five the first time. She could build up.

But these steps were cold and metal and not nearly as forgiving as the carpeted steps to the family playroom…

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 6

“A Man and His Phone” – Part 6

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 visit Chris’s apartment to see what’s what. Adrienne investigates while Jane waits in the lobby. When Adrienne arrives on the eighth floor, she meets face-to-face with Chris. Were those sparks flying between them? After a little banter, Adrienne makes a quick retreat down the stairwell to fetch Jane, just as Chris pushes the down button in the elevator. What will happen next is anyone’s guess!

Now you’re set – I hope you enjoy!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jane fumed in the lobby. Where was Adrienne? Why hadn’t she texted her updates? She had been desperate for info when she finally called. Had Chris come out his door and caught Adrienne spying? He’d surely recognize her friend and put two and two together. Chris may be a bonehead in relationships, but he was sure to detect this scheme if he saw Adrienne. He might even think it was funny, but no, things hadn’t gone well on the phone. There was nothing funny about his blowing her off last week and now tonight. And Jane was not going for funny here anyway. Chris needed to realize how great they were together. That was serious business.

The rubber tree plant in front of her was a comic disguise. She’d gotten more than one crazy look while she waited. Thank goodness there wasn’t a doorman to chase her away. She had a good view of the elevator from behind the fat leaves and, if Chris came down, she could spot him and crouch low as he passed. And Adrienne was on her way anyway. If all went well, Adrienne would come down first and the two of them could run out of the building and Chris wouldn’t be the wiser.

_____

Adrienne strode down the eighth floor hall, hoping that Chris would enter his apartment before she had to fake knock at an unknown apartment. She heard a door open and close just as she arrived at 803. Thank goodness! This would definitely be a story to laugh at, she thought, fifty years from now, but there was no time for that now. She pulled off her heels and made a dash to the stairwell exit. This would be a good warm-up for the dance floor, she reasoned.

Adrienne’s bare toes gripped the waffled surface of the metal steps. Her lacrosse training in high school and college was serving her well, even if she hadn’t done much since. Well, there was dancing. That definitely counted. She was moving fast. In a half a minute, she’d get to the lobby, grab Jane and they’d hightail it out of there.

_____

The only thing Chris needed in his apartment was a door to hide behind to see what Adrienne would do next. He opened and closed it loudly, then quietly re-opened it to peek through the crack. He was sure that after Adrienne pretended to visit the cat lady, she would head down to the lobby, but he needed to know whether she’d take the elevator or the stairs. When he saw her head to the stairwell, he smiled. He was ready to play the game, but first, better grab his phone. Chris may not like the device very much, but getting a new number in it might be a good thing.

Thank you for reading – come back next week!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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!


Image: Wikimedia Commons

“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!

Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.

Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Friday Fiction – “A Man and His Phone” Part 4

“A Man and His Phone” – Part 4

Welcome to Friday Fiction! If you are just jumping into this dating saga, “A Man and His Phone,” here’s a rundown of what’s happening:

Jane is in a twenty-something predicament. Her sometimes boyfriend, Chris, likes his own space and is in no hurry to change his life. Tentative plans to get together have ended in a tense phone call and Chris has powered off his phone. Meanwhile, Jane is determined to make something happen. She’s recruited her friend, Adrienne, to drive with her down to Chris’s apartment and see if he’s still home. What they do then is anyone’s guess!

Now you’re set – read on!


Image: Wikimedia Commons

I-295 S was jammed with cars and Jane and Adrienne were in the middle of the mess.

“Where on earth is everyone going tonight?” Adrienne asked the air. It was pushing eight o’clock and she was itching to go to Karma. She didn’t want to miss her chance to find the guy she’d met last night. Who knew how long it would be before he noticed someone else? She flipped down the visor and checked her hair in the mirror.

“Relax, Adrienne. We have plenty of time. And besides, if we get to Chris’s apartment too early, I won’t be sure if he’s in for the night.”

“Okay, that’s just stupid, Jane. In for the night? How old are you? I only saw Chris from a distance at Zadar’s, but he didn’t look like a guy who pays attention to the clock!” Adrienne flipped up the visor in frustration.

Jane’s thumb was nervously tapping the steering wheel. “Whatever, okay? Let’s just get down there and see what happens. Maybe we’ll see him leave, then we can follow him!”

“Yeah? I don’t think so, Jane. You talked me into a drive-by, not a pursuit. I have my own chase planned.”

Traffic started to move. Jane pressed the accelerator. “Finally!” she exclaimed

“See? There’s his car. He’s still home. I knew it!”

“Okay, so what? You know this is stupid, Jane.” Adrienne checked her phone. Felicia and her friends were out to eat and would meet her at Karma. b there by 10, she tapped in her message.

“Let’s park and go in. I know how to get buzzed into the building. We’ll wait for a group and roll in with them. Then we’ll go up to his floor and check out his apartment from the hall.”

This might have been Jane’s plan, but Adrienne knew she had to take the reins if she had any hope of Karma by 10 o’clock.

“Look, I have an idea,” she said as they walked to the high-rise. “Let’s get inside, then I’ll take the elevator up to Chris’s floor. I’ll see what’s what. You stay in the lobby and I’ll text you when I know something.”

“But I want to see for myself,” Jane complained.

“See what?” Adrienne answered. “A door?”

“Well, I was thinking I would try to look under it. Maybe I could see some feet moving around or hear some music.”

“No, I’ll go up alone. What floor?”

Adrienne stood alone in the elevator and pulled at the hem of her dress. It was a great dress for dancing, but maybe not for espionage. She’d already decided she would not be peering under Chris’s door. She slipped her phone into the discreet pocket sewn flat into her dress and thanked the dress designer gods for thinking of all a woman’s needs. The elevator pinged and opened on the eighth floor. Adrienne fluffed her hair and looked straight into a pair of amused dark eyes.

“Oh, well hello there,” he smiled and looked her up and down. “If you’re looking for a dance floor, you may need to get onto the Ben Franklin first.”

Adrienne was not the type to get flustered, yet she could feel a drip of sweat trickle down her back.

“Yes, well maybe I will,” she answered. Somewhat lame, but she was holding her own. The charmer smiled.

“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 so instead, she stepped out into the hallway. She could feel her phone vibrate. Jane, most likely, anxious for a report. But the update would have to wait…

Thank you for reading – come back next week!


Click here to catch up with all the episodes of A Man and His Phone.


Copyright © 2018 by Book Club Mom

All rights reserved.  All material on this blog is the property of Book Club Mom. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.