Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?
I played it back a few times, it wasn’t a voice I knew. After about the fifth time, I did know something though. It wasn’t a voice I liked. The message system was running fine, nothing had been missed. She was simply one of those people who picks up the phone and starts talking. ‘Wait for the beep’ I’d said… in English and bad French.Someone hadn’t waited.
I’m a creative type of guy, good imagination (some days). My mind did what minds do in this situation. It ran a gamut. That’s a gamut of emotions. Is there any other sort of gamut out there worth running? My mind wandered. A flash of clear light, gamut…. en francais that’s ‘gamme’… a range. Running a gamut and wandering off, that’s just like me.I’ve got a whole range of emotions in no particular order.
It wasn’t my doctor, he’s French. I ruled out that particular aspect of bad news. Was the news actually bad? My caller’s voice hadn’t made that clear. There was a slight impatience there, I could hear that. There was also some kind of relief. This was something she’d finally been able to get off her chest. It was also something she’d meant to say a long time ago. It was almost boring for her now. I’m being dumped? I’m being dumped by a woman who’s voice I don’t recognise? Well no wonder she dumped me. Maybe I’ve failed to get a job I can’t remember applying for. I wouldn’t hire me then, my memory is no good.
Was it good news, somewhat postponed? There’s always the Lotto, but I check my own numbers. It was all a puzzle, but I’d run out of gamut. If I hadn’t been told months ago, then I didn’t need to be told today did I? I ran a quick survey of the bleedin’ obvious for the ‘well duh!’ scenarios. Nope. She hadn’t told me, no one else had told me either. I made amental note to look up gamut and promptly forgot about it.
A few days later I was down in the kitchen when I heard the sound of my own voice. Someone was talking over me. Ah yes. The answering machine, my ‘not at home’ speech. I didn’t quite dash, that’s not my style, but I got upstairs anyway. I’d recognised the voice. A successful lunge for the receiver, she was still there. ‘Hello?’ I said, friendly but questioning. Silence. Then about another half a silence, then a breath. ‘Oh’ said the voice ‘Wrong number, sorry. Bye!’.
Twice this woman has rung me up to tell me she’s sorry. I think it must be a quite hard word for her to say. I’ll never know though, will I?
My mind went blank. I was in a very dull place.