söndag 7 augusti 2016

Life unknown

"Twothirtie, can you put the kettle on?"
It was no great effort, she was actually passing the kitchen, heading for the xerox.
" I will, in a minu...hang on, phones ringing somewhere. "
" Phone? What kind of tune is that?"  He was teasing her . He raised his voice a bit;
"Yours, it must be. No one else left here"
" It's Lord of the rings, surely you recognize it!"
" I'm not in for fantasy, really. There it goes again, answer it!"
She was now running towards her desk but missed by seconds. She glanced at the screen, not
one of those again, insurance, trustfonds, Fitnesscentre...it went on again! Who was this?

Greg stood in the doorway, watching her puzzled face.
" Answer it, woman, or not, that tune is annoying"
She would have, normally, but she had a strange sensation in her stomach. Who was this?? She hoped it would just stop and she could forget all about it.
Two minutes. Three. Nothing.  She let it slip into her pocket and looked at Greg.
" Probably a salesman, real nuisance if you ask me!"
" Mmm, so ..... tea?"  He kept looking at her. She seemed nervous, kept fiddling with the phone in her pocket. He shrugged and turned to leave when the music started again. Lord of the rings, was it?
" There now, answer it!!  You answer, I'll put the kettle on, ok?"  He left the room.

She pulled it out of the pocket. The ringing stopped. Yes, same number alright. Why ??
Oh for heavens sake, not again!!   She started shaking it, as if shaking it would make the caller get dizzy and lie down for a rest.
Two minutes. Three. Gone.  Good, now she could relax.  She remembered the copies she was suppose to take, where did she leave them...?
Ten minutes later, they both sat by the table in the coffeeroom. Normally they would have a loud conversation about odds and ends, this and that, but he couldn't get her attention. The phone laid
on the table, she got the shell in Athens last spring, he recalled.  They both jumped when the tune
started again. She let it ring. And again.

" What is the matter with you? If you want to know, call them back! Or check the number out first if that makes you feel better"
" You're right. Yeah, I should. Really. Silly of me, I don't know why it bothers me so. I'll....check it...later"
He bent over her, picked up the phone and touched the screen to view the number.
" Here, I'll do it for you!"
" No, no, it can wait, it's not important, leave it"
" Sorry love, just can't do that.  Here....that's odd..."
She stiffened and stared at him " What? What is odd?"
" It seems to be from..... Budapest"
" What?? Give me my phone!"   She stood up now, eyes glowing and her face all red.
The tune started again and he answered it, it was just a whim, he wouldn't have done anything like that normally but this was different. Her face went blank and she sat down, heavily.
" No, but she's sitting here next to me, hang on..."     He handed her the phone, with the word "sorry"
in a quiet whisper. She took the phone without looking at him. She held it with two fingers. You could hear a voice coming from it: "Hello??? Miss Summers?? Hello?"

Greg held his breath. Finally she lifted the phone to her mouth and kind of croaked: "Hello?"
He badly wanted to stay and find out what was going on and he realized she couldn't move from where she was so he left the room and got back to his office. He tried not to listen to the muffled
voice coming from the kitchen. Ten minutes passed, he couldn't get anything done. He stared at his screen, shuffled documents around and counted paperclips. What was that? Did she say: "Goodbye?"

He heard her move the chair and get up. After a while she appeared in his doorway. She had been crying. Crying?? Oh no. This was his fault, he answered it, God, why did he do it, what an idiot!!
" Look, Cathy, I'm sorry...that was ..." She interrupted him with an absentminded wave. "Hush!"
" It was an undertaker. Hungarian. He, I.., you don't want to hear this anyway, Greg"
" Are you serious, I can't wait, I mean, if you're up to it"
" You remember I told you once my father died when I was just a baby?"  .  Oh yes he did, word by word.
" Yes, actually I do. Why?"
" Well, this man, this undertaker, called to tell me the sad news"
" What sad news? I didn't know you had relatives in Hungary"
" Neither did I.  I seem to have a lot of them. One has died now"
" I don't believe it, who could that be?? You must be all confused?"
" I am.  Really. You see, they told me that my father passed away two weeks ago and.... they have been searching for me since then.....what does this mean? Has he been alive all my life? What am I to do? " She stood there, readeyed, shoulders dropping a bit. Not her confident self at all.
He looked at her . This was his moment, his heart was pounding hard now;
" We'll figure it out, love, we'll figure it out"

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