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Authors: Sarah Ann Walker

I am HER... (9 page)

BOOK: I am HER...
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Before I have even pulled up the latest spread-sheet, there’s a reply.
________________________________

From:  Z. Zinfandel

Subject:  Today

Thursday, May 26

1:14pm
Sweetheart,
I must insist that you call me 'Z'.
Where is your husband?  I didn't read a reply to my question regarding him.
Yours, with much concern,
Z
________________________________

 
 What the hell do I say now?  He said I must always reply. 
 

______________________
__________

Reply

Subject:  Today

Thursday, May 26

1:18pm
Z,
My husband is at work, where I prefer him.
I’m fine, but I really must finish my reports.
I do hope you enjoy Chicago while you visit.
________________________________
  Oh my!  He types fast.
 

______________________
__________

From:  Z. Zinfandel

Subject:  Today

Thursday, May 26

1:22pm

Sweetheart,
With much respect; I don't give a fuck about Chicago.
Why are you alone?  Why don't you want your husband with you? Answer me. 
Now.
Z

_______________________________

 

 
His email reads quite aggressive, and
I’
m starting to shake a little.  Is he mad at me?
   

 

________________________________

Reply

Subject:  Today

Thursday, May 26

1:32pm
 

Mr. Zinfandel
I’m not sure why you're mad at me, but I do apologize if I have offended you in some way.
I don’t require my husband here today.  We are very independent people, and he is very busy with his own career. I would feel terrible if I kept him from his work, when I really don't need anything from him here.

  
Regards.
________________________________
 

 
Okay.  This is getting ridiculous.  Why won't he stop emailing me?  I have work to do, and he doesn’t seem to care at all. 
Dammit.

 

________________________________

From:  Z. Zinfandel

Subject:  CALL ME Z!

Thursday, May 26

1:43pm
Sweetheart,
If you call me 'Mr. Zinfandel' one more time, I
WILL
be very angry with you, and I’m not playing a game.
Every time you don’t want to answer a question honestly, you retreat, and I become Mr. Zinfandel once again.  Please stop retreating.
I expect
honest
answers from you, whether you are comfortable with me or not.
What is your address?   I'm going to come over so we can speak face to face.

Z

________________________________

 

Reading his newest email, I am absolutely stunned. 
Oh. My. God!
  He is NOT coming here.  No way.  I can’t have a strange man in my home, whether it is to 'talk' or not.  What does he think I am... a
slut?
  I am a respectable, married woman.  I am
NOT
a
Slut.

______________________
__________

Reply

Subject:  CALL ME Z!

Thursday, May 26

2:02 pm
Z,
I do apologize for my rudeness, but you are not welcome in my home.

I don’t know what kind of woman you think I am, but you have
the wrong idea.  I am a respectable
MARRIED
woman, who does not have strange men show up at her home.  Why would you even want to?  We’re strangers to each other.

You are my senior, and as such, it is highly inappropriate for
you to even suggest such a thing as coming to my home.
Please refrain from emailing me again, unless of course, it is work related.  I must get back to my reports.
Thank you.

______________________
__________

 

  There.  Sent.  Finished.  What the hell
WAS
that?  My cell phone suddenly rings
.  Shit
.  Its Z's 212) cell number.  What do I do?  Ignore it?  I'll ignore his call, and hopefully he’ll get the message.  When it stops ringing I finally breathe.
Shit!
  There’s already another email.
_________________________________
From:  Z. Zinfandel

Subject:  ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

Thursday, May 26

2:18
pm
Sweetheart,
Pick up the phone.  Now!
I am starting to get furious with you.
Pick it up now!
Z
________________________________

 
Suddenly, I’m scared to death.  I don't even know this man.  Why is he
doing
this?  What’s happening?  Did I do this?  I think I was fairly professionally detached.  What did I do wrong?  WHAT DO I
DO?’
 

 

  When my phone starts ringing again, I jump.  Grabbing it, I answer on the second ring, "Hello..."
  "Why are you trying so hard to push away my concern?”

 
"I'm sorry Z, but I don't know what I've done wrong to upset you.  I've answered all your questions.  I've been perfectly polite and professional."
  Cutting me off, he almost snarls into the phone, "Yes.  You have been perfectly polite and professional, and even respectable.  Aren't you a little
tired
of it?"
  "I'm sorry,  I don't understand."
  "Why don’t you try speaking a sentence which does not contain the phrase 'I'm sorry' for starters?  We'll work from there."
  "I'm sor...
What?
  What do you want Mr...
ah,
Z?”  Jeez... I suddenly acquired a stutter.
  "You’re doing very well deflecting, but I am much better at attaining the answers I require. You are very adept at answering most questions with an emotionless quip. You are truly exhausting and frustrating.  Do you ever just give an honest answer?  Do you
feel
anything at all?"  Pause.

 
What the hell?  Do I
FEEL
anything at all?  Of course I feel. What the hell is he talking about?
  "Yes, I
feel.
  Do I seem so heartless to you?" I whisper.
  "Stop deflecting!  Do you
feel,
Sweetheart?"
  "I'm not deflecting.  I don't know what you mean.  I'm sorry, but I'm really confused here.  Could you please just tell me what's wrong with me, so I can get back to my reports,”  I ask desperately.
  And there’s another pause.  A long pause actually.  My heart starts beating very hard and my hands have started shaking again.  Maybe I should say something.  What is he waiting for?
  "I'm sor..."

 
Interrupting me, he shouts, "Do not apologize!  I can't stand to hear another apology fall from your mouth."
  All I want to say is 'I'm sorry' for saying 'I'm sorry'.  I’m such an idiot.  He’s totally thrown me off balance.  I feel less controlled.  I feel out of control. 
I feel...

 
Out of nowhere, I can't breathe.  Gasping for breath, I clutch the phone in my hand, and grab my chest with the other.  Panicking, I want to go.  I need to hang up...
  "Jesus
Christ!
  Don't you dare hang up, love.  Come on.  Stay with me right here.  Breathe slowly, so I can hear you.  Come on Sweetheart, breathe with me.  Listen to my breaths and follow along.  Breathe..."

 
Slowly, I dig myself out.  Slowly, my breathing returns.  Slowly, I feel my arms and legs tingling again.  I have to go.  I need to get away from him.  I need my senses back.

 
"I need to hang up, Z.  I need to lie down...
okay?
" I whisper, but there’s just silence.  "Please... Z.  I need to hang up.  I can't take anymore of this right now."

 
Exhaling loudly, "Alright, Sweetheart.  I want you to lie down right now.  I’ll give you an hour and a half, and then I'm calling you again.  I strongly suggest you sleep with your phone beside you so you’ll pick up when I call.  Am I clear?"
  "Um... yes.  I'll talk to you later.  I really am sorry for all this drama.  I'm not usually like this," I whisper.
  "It's going to be okay, love.  I'll talk to you soon.  Lie down now.  I insist."
  After hanging up, I stumble to the small love seat in my sunroom.  Pulling a throw blanket over my shoulders, I feel absolutely exhausted.  With my phone in my hand, I close my eyes and…

I'm done.
 

 

                                 ==========

 
Abruptly, I wake to the sound of my phone ringing.  Jumping, I answer quickly.
  "H-hello...?"  I'm completely disoriented.
  "Hello, Sweetheart.  Did you sleep well?"
   Leaning over toward the end-table I see its 5:01pm. "Um... Yes.  Why did you let me sleep so long?" I ask.
  "Say my name, Sweetheart.  Say 'Z'.  I need to hear my name from your lips when you just wake sounding all sleepy and hoarse.  You make me think of waking up
with
you..." he practically growls in my ear. 
Holy shit!
  What the hell do I say to that?
  "Ah, Z... I have to go.  I shouldn't have slept so long, and I really need to get some work done.  Otherwise, I'll be up all night working on these reports.  Um, thank you for waking me..."
  "It was my pleasure.  I love the sound of your voice right now.  Picturing your gorgeous lips, and your alluring eyes and hearing your voice all sleep-sexy, makes me wish you would meet me at my hotel this evening." 
WHAT?!
   "Ah... I'm, um... married.  And I don't know you!  And I don't do that!  I'm sure you could find someone else in Chicago who would join you.  Maybe give Kayla a call..."  Did I just say that?  Oh my god, I just made Kayla sound like a slut.
Shit.
  Chuckling, Z says, "Tempting as that may be, I would still prefer YOU join me this evening.  Though Kayla is delightful, I'm not in the mood to fight for dominance in the bedroom; that’s not really my thing.  I would much prefer you, soft in my arms."
  
Soft?
  There it is.  He thinks I'm heavy, and therefore 'soft'.  NOT like perfect 'tight' Kayla.  God, I wish I wasn't me some days, I really do.
  "Sweetheart?  Where did you go?  I can almost
feel
your retreat.  Why don't you think about meeting me later."  As
IF!
  “No.  I will NOT meet you later.  I'm too
‘soft’
.  Not your type at all.  You really should give Kayla a call though. She’s all tight and
delightful,
” I sneer.
  "Why are you speaking to me with that tone?  I never implied..."
  "What tone? 
THIS tone?!
  Please, Mr. Zinfandel, leave me alone.  I'm done.  I really can't talk to you anymore.  Okay?  I'm really sorry, but…"
  "DO NOT HANG UP ON ME!"
  "Sorry.  Bye.  Have fun with
whomever
you see tonight..." 
  I’ve done it.  I hung up on him.  Please don't call me again.  Please don't call... 
Shit!
My phone starts ringing.  My phone even sounds louder when its Z calling to yell at me.  Ignore it.  IGNORE IT!
  Five minutes later, my phone stops ringing and I'm totally stressed out.  What the hell is going on in my life?  I can't stand all this drama.  Who does he think he is, anyway?  He can’t tell me what to do.  Yeah, but everyone else tells me what to do, why can’t he? 
Dammit.

 

                                 ==========

 

 

 
Grabbing a glass of ice water, and making a turkey sandwich, I suddenly realize I haven't made a 'proper' dinner for Marcus. 
Dammit.
  What looks elaborate, but is quick and easy?  What looks good, but can be prepared in half an hour?  What can I make?  I can think of nothing.  Oh!  I have lasagna in the freezer but I'll have to thaw it in the microwave first which will make it gross, but what else can I do?
  Throwing the lasagna in the microwave to defrost, I feel all stressed again.  It's like the potential for soggy lasagna will determine if I have a panic-attack or something.  Why does a lasagna have this much influence over my life?  Why am I giving a lasagna this much power over me? 
Christ!
  I
AM
crazy!
  Twenty minutes later, the nearly defrosted lasagna is in the oven for an hour and a half.  That brings me to 7:30.  Marcus should be arriving home around 7:30, and it’ll look like I planned his dinner properly, at exactly the proper time.

BOOK: I am HER...
5.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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