One Amazing Night

You’re standing outside a restaurant next to a phone booth when, suddenly, it rings. Your gut tells you not to answer it, but with each ring you can’t resist. Finally you pick up the phone—and end up having the most amazing night of your life.

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One thought on “One Amazing Night

  1. kathleenmagner

    Hugging her cashmere shawl around her bared arms, Meredith bounced on the curb. Her heels clacked against the concrete and she rubbed her legs together, making her feathered skirt rustle.

    “Where are you?”

    She checked her watch, the opalescent face showing him fifteen minutes late.

    Laughter rose behind her and the glow from the restaurant’s opened door wafted over her like the warmth from an oven. A couple strode out, arm in arm, flirting obliviously. They rounded the potted topiaries out in front and made their way along the sidewalk basking in the dimmed storefront advertisements. They crossed paths with a foursome, the two chatty women striding before a pair of subdued men and through the entrance’s frosted door.

    Buttery aromas blended with cologne, making Meredith’s stomach grumble and she hunched deeper into her shawl. A gust whipped along the darkened road, stirred by the passage of a lone sedan. The breeze died, taking with it the crinkle of newspaper in the gutter and leaving the buzz of the electrical lines and neon signs to keep her company. A weight seemed to drape upon the evening and she peered up at the growing clouds.

    “The next thing you know it’ll be raining.”

    With a frustrated sigh, she glared at her painted toes peeking through her sling-back sandals and fought against another glance down the road. No oncoming traffic sounded and she shut her eyes, willing the quick slap of his footsteps to arrive.

    The phone in the booth beside the fire hydrant rang instead. Its peal brought her head up and Meredith found herself entranced by the receiver within the graffiti-coated steel framed box. She watched the dirtied panes shake with every ring and then still once the phone went quiet.

    Maybe I should call him.

    The idea unglued her feet from the concrete and she drifted toward the mottled booth. Her fingers had found the latch on the retractable door when the phone rang again.

    Lured forward by the tone, she opened the door and lifted her hand to the receiver. The ring seemed to escalate with her approach, each tinny chime burrowing into her ears, and ricocheting between her temples. When the last blast threatened to burst her skull, Meredith snatched the receiver off its cradle simply to cease its blare.

    “He’s late, isn’t he?”

    Meredith balked at the gentle tenor gliding through the holey earpiece.

    “Isn’t he?”

    She drew the phone into place. “Who is this?”

    “Someone who wants to help you.”

    “Right.” She started the receiver toward its cradle.

    “I know why he’s late.”

    Meredith bit her lip, tasting the remnants of gloss. Sliding the door closed, she brought the mouthpiece to her lips once more. “Why?”

    “Can’t you guess?”


    “Work, sure.” The low rumble of his laugh made her cheeks flush. “We can call it that.”

    Shedding her unease, Meredith gathered her nerve. “Who is this?”

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