Lorna stayed in her cubicle at lunch unlike the dozen or so others in her office. She walked to the break room and got a Coke and went back to her space. She took her brown bag out and opened the foil to get at her turkey sandwich and opened her bag of Doritos spreading them out on her desk in piles. Next, Lorna took out her 5×7 spiral and plugged her headphone into her phone jack.
While working on her first bite she tapped the phone receiver twice, ate a Dorito and then dialed her husband’s home office phone number and dialed in the code for retrieving messages. She made notes of the two—one a robo call from a politician and the other from the library telling him a book he reserved came in. She left the first call and erased the second.
Next Lorna tapped the receiver twice again and dialed her husband’s office number knowing he’d be still out on his business trip and left all the calls except the one who was a referral to him from the big boss which she erased.
Lorna took a swig of her diet cola and picked up a Dorito, tapped it twice on the receiver, popped it into her mouth and called her Rabbi’s office phone and listened to the messages erasing the three that sounded the most urgent including a marriage breakup, a death, and a hospital visit needed. She and her husband had used the Rabbi to mediate a marriage issue and the Rabbi took her husband’s side 100%.
Pleased with the Rabbi call, Lorna took another sip of her diet cola, finished off half the turkey sandwich and rooted around for the perfect Dorito which she used to tap on the receiver and then pop in her mouth and chew up while she called her husband’s girlfriend. This was a little trickier since she had no land line just a cell, so she tapped out the numbers and was able to get right to her answering line. She of course, erased the call from her husband about scoring a reservation for the hot new Italian restaurant for this very night and then erased the calls from her gynecologist, college daughter, and real estate client.
Feeling satisfied, Lorna read over her notes, put the headset away and finished her lunch while writing down the three calls she’d make this evening and a note to call the hotel in Newport where her husband and his girlfriend would be staying and request a change from a king-sized bed to two singles.
Lorna called Lord & Taylor to see if her dress was in yet and smiled when she heard it was. It was the same high-end dress that her husband’s girlfriend would be wearing to the Museum Opening and Lorna knew she had a much better body than girlfriend and would stand next to her as often as possible with her arm through her husbands and not even mention the coincidence of the same dress.
Her last call was to her husband leaving a message about how much she loved and missed him and couldn’t wait for him to get back from his business trip. “Don’t forget the Museum opening Saturday night,” she said. “I had your tux cleaned. Smooch Smooch.” Lorna tapped the remaining Doritos on the phone, ate them and finished her sandwich just as the others were coming back to work.
She reminded herself to go through her husband’s phone to see if any of the answering device codes had changed. He prided himself on being well organized. Lorna liked that about him.
Paul Beckman’s stories have appeared in Spelk, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction, Litro, Pank, Playboy, WINK, Jellyfish Review, and The Lost Balloon. He had a story selected for the 2020 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology Lineup and was short listed in the Strands International Flash Fiction Competition. Paul curates the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly in KGB’s Red Room (Currently Virtual).