Saturday, April 17, 2021

Wrong Number by Rachel Smith

 “Hello?”


“…”

“Hello? Is someone there?”

“Lovely weather we’re having isn’t it."

"Uh yeah. I'm sorry but who is this?"

"I love it. Even now, this late into the evening and it's still warm! Reminds me of holidays in Spain. It wasn't that long ago that we couldn't sit outside past five and now - ”

“Who is this?”

“Don’t you recognise my voice?”

“No.”

“You should. It’s Analisa."

"Uh I don't know -"

"From the party? Last weekend?”

“Analisa … I, but I didn’t go to any parties last weekend.”

“Oh well we both know that’s a lie.”

“Whatever. Why are you calling me?”

“To talk. I think you want to hear what I have to say.”

 “There you’re wrong. I’m hanging up the phone. Don’t call me again-.”

“- Wait! If you hang up … you’ll never know what it is that I know.”

“You’re being ridiculously cryptic.”

“I was there, Daniel. Friday night. The Bluebell Inn. You were with two of your mates, Jamie and Liam if I remember correctly. They seemed nice. Shame you didn’t leave with them at closing time and just go home. Maybe then none of this would have happened. Maybe then … maybe then I wouldn’t have to … be feeling like this, feeling …”

“Hey, are you crying? Are you alright?”

“Don’t you dare.”

“What’s wrong? You … listen, you’re right OK. My name is Daniel and I was at the Bluebell Inn on Friday night with my friends but we left together. They can vouch for me on that one. We all got a kebab from one of those wretched places down Friar’s Street and got taxis home. Analisa? What are you so upset about? What happened? Do you need help?”

“Wow. That is some manipulative psychological bullshit you’re pulling right now. Are you hurt? Do you need help? Unbelievable. You must be a real psycho.”

 “Look. I don't know what's going on here but if someone has been hurt then you should call the police.”

“Oh, you’d like that wouldn’t you.”

“Listen. I am a psychologist. I happen to have experience dealing with victims of abuse. Physical and emotional. So I understand that you’re possibly feeling very angry and you don’t know what to do with that anger so you’re directing it, falsely, towards me. Just some random guy who you saw in the pub. I don’t know what happened after I left but there were other people there. It was busy. Maybe your boyfriend did something?”

“Huh, suddenly you know I have a boyfriend.”

“A guess. I do remember you now, Analisa. You're the girl who asked me for a light outside, right?. Short blonde hair. Sparkly disco top. You were with a group of people, one looked like he was your boyfriend unless you kiss all the boys like that. You were all having a real good time. I wonder. How well do you remember the evening?”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“How drunk were you?”

“That has nothing to do with it.”

“Ha, so you were drunk. How drunk? Did you fall over? Did you throw up?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Did you know where you were when you woke up? Who was next to you?”

“It doesn’t matter how drunk I was!”

“Oh, it does. Especially since you’ve called me up to accuse me of doing something that I didn’t do.”

“You’re lying! You did not get into a taxi and leave. You came back to a party at my house. Other people were there. They’re witnesses that you were there. There’s no denying it.”

“And how drunk were these so-called witnesses? Hmm?”

“I can’t believe you’re actually trying to twist this around.”

“I’m not twisting anything. Maybe if I knew what happened, exactly what you’re accusing me of, then we could … hang on, how did you get my home phone number?”

“Same way I got your address. Dr. Daniel Edward Whittaker.”

“That’s not funny. This is turning into harassment and its borderline threatening. I didn’t do anything to you.”

“You’re a rapist.”

“WHAT?! No I’m not!”

“You can sound as shocked and horrified as you want but I know we’ve got the right person … And you’re going to pay for what you did.”

“I did NOT attack you and who exactly is ‘we’?”

“I didn’t say attacked, I said raped. And it wasn’t me you pervert.”

“Well that proves it wasn’t me doesn’t it! Look, if you or someone you know has been raped then you should go to the police.”

“No point. They wouldn’t be able to do anything. It’s been a couple of days. She’s showered. Cleaned herself up. Evidence is just - what do they call it - circumstantial.”

“I wasn’t even there!”

“She’s thirteen. Did you know that? Maybe you thought she looked older but I doubt it. Thirteen and her whole life is ruined. Eternally warped and tarnished … by you.”

“Oh my god.”

“Didn’t realise she was thirteen, did you?”

“It wasn’t me! For Christ’s sake! What was she even doing there? … Oh, you evil little bitch.”

“What?”

“Wow. No wonder you’re behaving like this.”

“What are you saying?!”

“What was your sister doing at this party? Shouldn’t she have been asleep, tucked away safe and sound in her bed?”

“Ha! I didn’t tell you she was my sister! You let that slip.”

“It was an educated guess.”

“Well you’re weirdly good at guessing.”

“You said the party was at your house. She’s thirteen. That makes it pretty obvious what must have happened. Some big sister you are. How does it feel? Failing her like that?”

“You’re a monster.”

“Your little, baby sister who you’re supposed to look after. To protect.”

“Shut up.”

“And you got drunk, brought strangers into your home and one of them fucked her didn’t they! You’ve only yourself to blame. Where the hell were your parents?”

“This isn’t my fault!”

“What are you hoping to achieve by calling me? Are you recording it? Hoping I’ll confess? I didn’t do it and you’re wasting time. All this time that the police could be tracking the real culprit. Call them.”

“No. Being questioned by the police, even for rape would put a mild smear of suspicion on your impeccable character but no real lasting damage to your life. We will have to live with what you did forever … and now, so will you.”

“And what exactly are you going to do? Irritate me to death with late night phone calls?”

“We know people, you know what this village is like.”

“Oh I’m terrified.”

“You should be.”

“And what’s your role in this absurd revenge plot then, huh?”

“…”

“Are you still there? Analisa?”

“Yes.”

“Well come on then. What’s your role?”

“It's already done.”

“Well then you should be able to tell me. Go on, I’m all ears.”

“Alright. Keeping you on the phone. Distracted. Just...long...enough.”

“What the fu- "

"Something wrong?"

"Is there someone in my fucking house?!"

“Goodbye Daniel.”

© Rachel Smith

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