Even though the phone was on a wall no more than two feet from where she was standing, Jane Summers rushed to the sound of its ringing, as if afraid the caller would hang up before she picked up the receiver, and end the opportunity to begin a conversation that would take her attention away from the strange device she had found.
She lifted the receiver hurriedly, lifted it to her ear, sighed when she heard no dial tone. Not wanting to admit to the anxiety she felt welling inside her, she forced herself to pause a moment before saying hello.
“Jane?” She sighed again upon hearing Gary’s voice. “You leave your phone in the car again?”
Jane Summers blinked. “My phone?”
“Yeah, kinda figured you left it in your car, A-GAIN, so that’s why I called you on your land line.” She blinked again, held the phone to ear silently a long moment.
“You OK, Jane?” Gary sounded concerned. Jane shook her head. “No — I mean nothing’s wrong, I’m fine. It’s just been a — weird morning, that’s all.”
“Oh. All right. Listen, I got in early today and just wanted to know where you saved the Route 20 files.”
Jane Summers bit her lip. Nothing about this conversation was helping with her anxiety. “Listen, I — don’t remember.” Not a lie, but only as much of the truth as she felt comfortable revealing. “Can you wait until I’m in the office?”
“Sure!” She could see his round face beaming over the line. “There’s no hurry, just wanted to get a head start, is all. Just — take your time, OK? You sound like there’s something wrong.”
I’m not sure if anything’s right, she nearly said. “No — like I said, weird morning.” She looked at the device in her hand, decided not to ask Gary if he had left an odd-looking radio in her apartment lately. “See you in half an hour.”
Gary cautiously ended the conversation, leaving Jane alone in her apartment. She put the odd device down on her table, eyeing it suspiciously, then turned back to her refrigerator. She opened the door, then stopped herself. Her face suddenly writhing in confusion, she closed the door abruptly, and spoke to herself as if she were a different person.
UPDATE 8/22/13: Changed last sentence