The phone rang.She was right on time.I reached out and picked up the phone,took a deep shaky breath and answered. Her voice was a cool drink of water to a parched throat. She was all business.
I sighed, answered her questions, and waited as she verified my identity. Satisfied I was who I said I was, she started asking me questions. I wanted to tell her how I felt. All she wanted was answers to the list of questions she had to ask.
Then it was over and she told me she would be in touch.The click when she disconnected was a knife stabbing into my heart. Burning pain spread through me and I couldn't breathe. For a moment,an eternity it seemed at the time,the pain burned bright and hot.My hand set the phone down,reached out and picked up the bottle of booze, poured three fingers in a glass and tossed it down.
My eyes watered and it seemed like my throat was on fire for hours. I savored the pain,anything to take my mind off her. I wanted to forget her,needed to forge her. I knew I shouldn't feel this way,but the heart doesn't care about should or would,it just does.
Months went by.Months of days and nights wondering when she would call again,if she would call again? Finally I broke and called the office.The dame who answered told me there was no such organization there called The S.S.Never had been.She gave me another number to call and I tried it. No answer. Another dead end. Was she trying to hide from me?Like a blood hound scenting a trail I refused to give up.
I tried searching the net and found an address for another S.S. office. I didn't bother calling,figuring I'd get the old run around again or another dead end.I drove over there and found an empty office and no forwarding address on the locked door. Back in my car,I pounded the steering wheel in frustration.Just as I figured, another dead end.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks,my pal Sharon,she was like a sister to me.We'd been through some tough times together and she knew everything about me.I had no secrets from her.She was my good luck charm.If anyone could break through this wall of silence and subterfuge,she could!
We talked and she said she'd make a few calls and get back to me.. A lifetime passed while I waited. When the phone rang,I hesitated knowing that this could be one of the most important calls of my life! My hand shook as I picked up the phone and pushed the button." Got a pen"? I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer and I'm not a religious guy. Her voice uttered the words I was waiting to hear,ten little numbers and an address.
I stared at the message I'd written down. I realized I was afraid to make that call.Afraid it would be her and afraid it wouldn't. I took the cowards way out,went home and spent the night thinking about what I would do or say if it was true.Could I really be so close to ending my search for her. I dropped off at some point,me and my bottle finally empty of all emotion and false courage.
My eyes opened slow,blinking against the too bright rays of the sun. I showered and tried unsuccessfully to scrape the fuzz from the booze off my tongue. I eyed my image in the mirror after I'd dressed,shaved, and combed my hair.Not too shabby,I thought. I gulped some caffeine and decided I looked pretty damn good considering all I'd been through.
An hour later I was on the road.This was it.I would see her, and this time I'd get some answers from her.Either I'd win or she would. I hoped we both would.
I sat in the parking lot in front of the building I'd been searching for what seemed like years. I told myself to get out of the car,walk through that door and finally meet her face to face. I know her by that silky,sultry voice.
I deserved some straight answers and she was damn well going to give them to me. The outcome? Well I'd know soon enough,wouldn't I? I had my hand on the door,before I realized I'd left the car.Walking down the hallway,I could hear phones ringing,voices mumbling,but none of it mattered.The only thing that mattered was her.
We'd never met,but I knew it was her. She was sitting at a cluttered desk,a phone caught between her shoulder and her neck and a soft smile on her face. I wanted that smile to be for me and only me.
She hung up and closed her eyes, in a tired gesture, rolled her head on her shoulders, and sighed.
I stood still,my eyes drinking in her beauty, and waited. As if she knew I was there, she opened her eyes and met mine. A smile lifted her pink lips,her eyes shining, and I knew everything was going to be okay.
I had found the right place at the right time.At last my search was over.