The Missing Hours – A Short Story; Part 2 – The Conversation
Part 2 – The Conversation
The clock on the mantel over the fireplace in the living room chimes three times, breaking the silence. It’s telling her that if she wants to share her news, now is the best time to make the call.
I have to make the phone call, don’t I?
She begins looking at the situation from all angles.
I’m well-known with the money and means to have this baby by myself. Of course I will have to stop working for a while.
She is almost finished filming and could take some time off in another month.
I could visit overseas for a while. During that time, the baby would be born and I could reemerge having adopted. I’ll get my publicist working on that angle.
Mentally she contemplates how all of that will play out and begins planning how to resume her relationship with him upon her return.
I could entice him to leave his wife, convince him to file for a divorce and this time when the cameras are flashing I will be by his side. Oh, there will be a scandal at first, she told her twin in the mirror, but even bad publicity is good publicity and I look fabulous in front of the cameras.
She poses as if flashbulbs are going off, and then stops, looking at the haunted blonde beauty in the mirror. No, that won’t do. No, I’m going to call him right now. After all, he is a man with considerable political power; he shouldn’t have a problem getting rid of one woman.
One woman; she falters. The thought of all that power brings a lump to her throat making it harder to breathe.
Of course I will be gracious to his ex-wife; there are the children to think of. She moves to the telephone in her bedroom compelling herself to pick up the receiver. With an effort she controls her emotions and dials his private line to be connected to him through the fewest operators. When she hears his voice on the other end of the line her heart flutters.
“Hello my darling, how are you?” she coos into the mouthpiece.
She relaxes and smiles when she hears him say his day would be better if she were there on his lap or under his desk.
“I’ll be right over,” she teases with a throaty laugh.
She feels right in her element and all the doubt that had been plaguing her falls away. Playtime, however, is over much too soon as he interrupts to ask what he can do for her.
“For me?” she hesitates, “No, silly; guess why I’m calling.”
Hurt by his response that he didn’t have time to play games she decides to tell him the news immediately to bring him out of his bad mood.
“I have some exciting news to tell you, darling. I’m pregnant! You are going to be a father. Isn’t that wonderful?”
She waits through the silence over the wires. Her fingers begin twisting the telephone cord connected to the receiver she holds in her other hand. Timidly, she repeats, “Isn’t that good news? I’m going to have your baby.”
His response shocks her and she fumes, “Of course it’s your baby. How dare you.” Angry now her heart beats so loud she images he can hear it over the phone. She almost misses his next comments, but listens closely to what he is saying; his words bring tears, forming in the corners of her eyes.
“What do you mean what do I want to do? I want to have my baby. I want us to be a family.” Feeling as if she is losing him she drops the bombshell, “I want you to leave your wife and be with me.” Then topping that statement off, she continues, “I want to stop pretending and tell the world.”
Beginning to doubt that this phone call was a smart thing to do, the words tumble off her tongue without control and are met with more silence. She waits, not realizing that she is holding her breath until, when he begins talking again in that nasally voice, the air rushes out between her lips. She is slightly mollified as he tries to calm her down. Sniffles fill the home as she listens to what he is saying. The euphoric feeling she had prior to the phone call is gone and his next words upset her anew.
“Alright, I promise not to go anywhere tonight and I won’t tell anyone about the baby. No, I promise. I’ll just watch some television. Yes, darling, I promise, I’ll take care. Kisses to …”
Realizing he has hung up and can no longer hear her words of endearment, she slowly returns the receiver to the cradle of the phone. Numb she sits and blindly looks around her bedroom.
That may not have been my best strategy.