For nearly three months, the big girl continued to leave missed calls, every day. Though I still did not understand, it began to feel almost normal.
Even the pattern became rather predictable. First call, maybe she is driving to the gym. Second call, perhaps she is en route to the office. Third call, possibly she is traveling to visit clients. Fourth call, likely she is making her way back home.
If the morning call did not arrive on time — this is true — I would actually start to worry for her. Maybe this is the Stockholm Syndrome but I would fret that something had happened and I wouldn’t feel quite at ease until that first hang up of the day.
Then finally, something did happen, only a few days ago. I was perusing produce at the market when I heard her talking right behind me. Always she is on the phone and her voice does not lack for volume. But she did not call out to me and so I did not turn to make salutation.
Instantly, the missed calls stopped that day, as I somehow knew that they would. Apparently, whatever it is she wanted — or thought she wanted — was satisfied in those few moments of wordless proximity.
Thinking about this episode makes me sad. I don’t know why, but it does. I mean, all things considered, it seems more likely that I dodged a bullet than missed an opportunity.
Still, I feel changed, and not in a good way. It used to be that I would make connection wherever I went. Seriously, ladies on the checkout line at the drug store would invite me to lunch. That expression, “there are no strangers, only friends we haven’t met”? It was made for me.
But now, I just don’t talk. Not to the neighbors. Not out on the street. And most definitely not at the gym.
© 2014 Jaclyn Schrier. All rights reserved.