"Hello?" I managed to wrestle my cell phone from my purse just before the call would have gone to voicemail.
"Hello, is this Diane?" a man's voice asked.
"Who's calling please?" The voice sounded vaguely familiar, but the number had been blocked on my cell screen.
"That doesn't matter. This is Diane, right?"
"It actually matters a great deal who this is," I said, irritated.
"This is your secret admirer," he responded. "Are you alone?"
I hung up and dropped the phone on the table. Damned crank callers. I had hoped that getting a cell phone would stop telemarketers and pranksters from contacting me. But apparently my luck with that scenario had just run out.
The phone rang again and I sighed. The screen showed it was another blocked call.
"What?" I asked loudly into the phone.
"That was a very bad Diane. You shouldn't hang up on people. Especially men who are so fond of you."
"Look, this isn't funny and I'm very busy. Find some other woman to harass." And I hung up again.
When the phone rang yet again I let it go to voicemail, hoping he would get the hint and give up. I didn't remember crank callers being so persistent in the past. And I was a little concerned that he'd known my name. But the big glass of wine I was planning to have for dinner would temper all of that. And by the next morning it would just be a funny story to share at work.
My big glass of wine turned into two, and then three, and I was feeling pretty spectacular when the phone rang around ten pm.
"Hello," I said, hoping I hadn't slurred.
"Diane? Have you been drinking?" It was him again.
"Yes I have." I giggled into the receiver, if I'd had been sober I would have been mortified at myself. "Maybe you should have a few drinks and stop calling strangers in the middle of the night."
"You're not a stranger. Just because you don't know who I'm doesn't mean you are a stranger to me. I have seen you hundreds of times. And I meant what I said earlier, I do admire you. Even if you are a very bad girl. You really shouldn't hang up on people," he said.
"Sorry, but I don't know who you are. And to be honest, you're a little scary. What's your deal anyway?"
He laughed, and it was a nice laugh. It was deep and vibrated in my ear through the receiver.
"My deal is that I want to talk to you. That's all. Can we talk?"
"Sure. What would you like to talk about?"
"You of course. I want to know more about you."
"I want to know how you sound when you come."
"I beg your pardon?" I exclaimed shocked.
"You heard me. I want to talk to you until you come for me."
"I can't do that," I whispered.
"Sure you can. I'll talk to you and tell you what I want you to do to yourself, and you will do it. You can do this, because you are a very bad girl. And bad girls have to be told what to do sometimes."
I took a deep breath. I was not a bad girl. I was a good girl. A very good girl. I had never even thought about doing anything like that. But the wine must have been doing strange things to my brain because I found myself kind of interested in his proposal.
"I've never done anything like that before." I felt the need to tell him that. I couldn't imagine someone thinking I regularly performed sex acts for strangers who phoned me.
"I'm sure you haven't. And that's fine. As I said, I'll talk you through it. And then, when you go to work tomorrow, you'll have this secret. And a woman with a secret is a powerful thing Diane. You'll see. Now, what are you wearing?"