It’s 6:00pm, the phone is ringing. I don’t want to answer it. I rub my arms up and down as I shiver. I know who it is - well not specifically “who” but I know the voice that will be on the line. He’s been calling everyday starting at 6pm for the last several months. I take a deep breath and pick it up, “Hello.”
“I had a dream about you…” I hang up, hands shaking. The phone rings again. I pick it up and hang up. It rings again, I pick it up and hang up. Again it rings, I disconnect the phone for the night. This is my daily ritual. Every day.
When it first started, the first few calls, I tried to get him to tell me who he was. It soon became apparent that wasn’t going to happen. I stopped engaging with him. I would hang up immediately. I thought that would deter the calls. But it didn’t. After a few weeks, I spoke to the police. Unless I knew who it was and he tried to physically harm me, there was nothing they could do. I was informed that if it escalated I was to contact them.
After that I stopped going anywhere by myself. I bought mace. I told friends and family, asking them not to tell anyone where I am or where I am going to be. I’m not sure they really understand what it is like to be targeted like this. How unsettling it is. How cautious I need to be. It could be anyone, someone I know, someone in one of my classes, a complete stranger, anyone. Someone could be watching me, following me. I’ve spent countless hours trying to figure out who it could be. Listening for a voice that sounds like him. Being on alert every moment when moving from point A to point B. How could they understand, it isn’t happening to them. To them it is just an annoyance.
I begin to unplug the phone every night before the calls even start. After a month goes by I think, that should do it. Certainly he has given up by now. I start to leave the phone plugged in again. A few nights go by and nothing. It worked, it’s over. Before the week is out, the phone rings again. My skin prickles, because I know. “Hello.” I hear the voice and hang up, then collapse to floor and cry as the phone rings again.
Let’s Get Emotional
My goal with the challenge this year is to use it as an exercise to write something focused on a particular emotion. I hope to convey that mood or feeling through word choice in the story. I welcome your feedback on what worked or didn’t for you in each piece.
Once upon a time...
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