Mandy gets out of the office at 5 pm. She would meet Ben at the bar as usual. This time her co- workers was with her. When they get there, he hadn’t arrived yet. She sits by a table with her boss and best friend, Annette and a few others. They order their drinks when the waitress gets to them. Since it was a small bar, not many customers were present. They talk about their day and then the conversation turns into daily things. Mandy kept quiet. She looks at the clock on the wall behind the counter. It was already over 5.30 pm. Annette noticed she looked nervous.
“Mandy, you’re awfully quiet”
“Ben hasn’t arrived yet” She replies and takes a sip from her beer glass
“Maybe he’s stuck in traffic”
“I hope so”
“Don’t worry, he will turn up soon” Annette comforts her
But she was still nervous. She decided to call him. She looks through her purse but she could not find her phone. She almost starts to panic.
“I forgot my phone” She says to Annette “I have to go”
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“I’ll be fine. Tell Ben if you see him that I’ll be right back” She says and stands up to leave the bar
It was getting dark outside. Luckily she was at the company in no time. It was already closed but she had a key. She takes the elevator to the 10th floor where the offices were. She gets to her desk but the phone is not there. She tries to think where she had it last. She looks through the drawers. Suddenly she hears a noise. It was like someone opened a door. She looks up but no one is there. She continues to search. She empties her purse on the desk. But it’s not there. She sits down on her chair to think. Then there’s the same noise again. She slowly stands up and listens.
She looks down the hall.
“Is anybody there?” She carefully asks but there’s no answer
Her heart was beating faster. She quietly put her things back in her purse. The office was creepy after work hours. Maybe she could have asked Annette to come with her after all. She takes her purse and gets to the elevator. The strange thing was that the elevator was on the 1st floor. Maybe someone was there after all. She was more worried about her phone. She must have dropped it. Her purse was usually secure. She gets to the street. It was usually a busy one but now only a few cars were driving by. Her friends were probably worried where she was.
“Were you looking for your phone?” A male voice suddenly says
“Gee, you startled me” She says while turning around
“Sorry about that” He says and smiles
“How did you know it was missing?” She ask doubting, still being shaken
“You dropped it in the café earlier” He says and takes it from his jacket pocket
He looks somehow familiar. Then she remembers where she had seen him before.
“How did you know I was here?” She tries to question him
“I asked the café where I could find you”
“How did they know? I usually don’t talk to the staff there”
“I guess they just knew”
“It doesn’t really matter. I got my phone back” She says and reaches her hand
But he doesn’t give it to her. He keeps it in his hand and looks at her
“Could I have it, please?”
“Oh sorry” He says and gives it to her
“Thank you” She says and takes it
“I didn’t look in it, I swear” He says and smiles
She smiles a little and then leaves. There were something familiar about him but at the same time a little creepy. Maybe she only felt like that because what happened in the office. She gets back to the bar.
More people had arrived. She smiles when she sees Ben sitting by the counter talking to Annette. She gets there and sneaks behind him. She wraps her arms around his waist.
“Guess who?” She asks and he turns around
He gives her a kiss and hugs her.
“You’re shaking” He says and looks at her
“It’s a bit chilly outside”
“It’s not that chilly. Something happened?”
“No, everything is fine” She replies and smiles “So where were you?”
“I should be going” Annette says, stepping down from her bar stool “See you tomorrow Mandy”
“See ya” Mandy says and her friend leaves
“I had a call from my agent. I have to fly to Europe next week to talk about a job. I did try to call you”
“I lost my phone and I haven’t looked at it yet”
“So you found it. Where was it?”
“At the café. So you got a job?” She says and sits on the bar stool Annette had sat in
“Isn’t it closed?”
“It was. What kind of job is it?”
“Don’t change the subject”
“What is there to tell? I got my phone back”
“When you keep changing the subject, I thought you’re trying to hide something”
“I just thought there’s nothing else to tell. No need to suspect anything”
“I wasn’t. Never mind. Shall we go?” He says and drinks the rest of his drink
She gets off the bar stool and takes her purse with her that she had laid on the counter when she sat down. She didn’t want to bother him about what happened in the office or about the man she had met. They get to their car which is parked a few meters away. The whole trip they didn’t talk. She was tired anyway. It was already 7 pm and they hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Luckily there were leftovers from the day before. While they watch the news on TV after they’ve eaten, she looks through her phone. There was a saved message that wasn’t there before. She opens the message to read it. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She looks at Ben but he’s too busy watching TV.
“I need a drink” She says and gets up from the couch they’re sitting on
She gets to the kitchen and takes some water from the fridge to pour it in a glass. She takes a sip. She sits down by the kitchen table to read the rest of the message. After finish reading, she closes it. She was appalled. How could anyone write to her that way? None of her male friends would ever do it. There was only one person that could and that was the person who had her phone last.