Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Addict

Yesterday at 2:44 p.m., my phone rang. It was the call I’d been waiting for. The call I’d been hoping for. The call I’d been praying for.

“We have the package,” the mysterious voice said. “244 West Broad Street. Bring cash.” Click.

This was not the first call. Over the past few months, my phone line has burned with conversations that have probably made the hair of veteran C.I.A. agents stand on end.

Conversations like, “The deal did not go through. I repeat: do not go to the pick-up location.” Click.

“That’s weird,” my husband said after he answered one of the calls. “It looks like your sister’s number on the caller I.D. – but the caller sounded like she was trying to disguise her voice. Do you know anything about this?”

“I dunno, Honey,” I said. “Probably just my niece playing prank calls with her mom’s phone again. You know how those 3-month-olds can be.”

He seemed suspicious but I tried to ignore it. After all, what is marriage without trust?

These calls have become more frequent over the past several months. I never know when one will come. It could be 5 p.m. – it could be 6 a.m.

“We almost had that one,” the mysterious voice always says. “We just missed it.” Click.

“Babe,” my husband said a few nights ago, “Your sister called again. She said her name was Ricardo. When I called her bluff, she hung up. Is there anything you want to tell me?”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Like the fact that you have a secret,” he said.

“Secret is a strong word…”

“You think I don’t know?” he blurted. “All of the phone calls? All of the disappearing money? You’re… you’re… you’re… I can’t even say it…”

“Shopping for used furniture on Craig’s List again?” I looked at my shoes.

“I knew it,” he said.

We spent the next 10 minutes talking about used furniture, Craig’s List, my sister being my personal secret shopper, and my endless addiction to the search for the perfect cast iron bed frame.

“Actually,” I said as I surveyed the room full of used furniture, “I’m not really an addict. I can quit anytime I want to.”

“So did you find the perfect bed frame?” he asked.

“244 West Broad Street,” I said. “Ricardo will meet us there.”

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I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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