From The Book:
Even in the middle of the stress and financial ruin that marked my last few months with the record store, there were still some good moments.
One was learning that a voluptuous, earthy female voice had started answering the phone at the alarm company all our stores used.
It wasn't so much WHAT she said as the WAY she said it. I'd call up the alarm company just before locking up the store, give the gorgeous voice my name and alarm-code number, and she'd laugh and say "Whatever you say, honey! Have a great night!" And I'd be out the door and on my way home.
And then it escalated.
Again, it wasn't so much what she said.... It was her sultry voice that grabbed me, her throaty, knowing laugh. That warm, buttery voice was like being smothered in kisses, like being surrounded by warm lips. I could cuddle inside that voice forever.
I started looking forward to closing, so I could toss the meagre amount of cash we'd made that day into the bank bag, reach for the phone, and hear that voice purring into my ear -- even if it was just for 30 seconds. I'd pass on my name and my alarm code, and she'd sigh and say "Have a great night, sweetheart!" And that would make my night.
She seemed to know exactly what she was doing, because as we got used to each other she stepped it up: The hints and innuendoes were becoming more and more obvious. That voice was laughing lightly, teasing, inviting, welcoming.
Maybe she was just bored with her job and wanted to liven it up. Or maybe she knew exactly what she was doing, and wanted to see how far she could push it.
I already had a fantasy going and I'd never even met this woman. I didn't even know her name.
Already I was thinking of asking her name, asking what she looked like, asking whether she'd ever consider going out with some geeky guy she'd never met....
I couldn't just let it lie there.
One night at closing I was suddenly circling around the ceiling after just talking with her on the phone for 30 seconds. I was giddy with it.
"GOD, you've got a GORGEOUS voice," I said. "You give GREAT phone."
She laughed, delighted. "So do YOU, sweetie! Sweet dreams!"
I walked on air out to the car.
After that I couldn't let it go. The next time I worked, I called Brad at the Overland store. Even though he was married, Brad always seemed to have the latest information on any attractive women who shopped regularly at our stores. He was our go-to guy when it came to hot-women rumors.
I asked if he'd ever talked to the woman with the voluptuous voice.
"Oh sure," he said casually. "I've met her. Her name's Ann."
"You're making it up!"
"No, man, really."
"Is she as gorgeous as she SOUNDS?"
"Oh, man, she's a freakin' knockout!"
Brad described in detail a heavenly vision with long dark hair and a huge chest. She sounded like Just My Type. Somehow I held it together.
"Does she talk to ALL the guys this way?" I asked, cringing.
"Oh yeah," Brad said, confirming my worst fear. "We've all talked to her. We've all got crushes on her."
I felt momentarily deflated, but Brad was saving the best for last.
"She thinks YOU'RE crazy," he said, "and she wants to come out to Fairview and meet you!"
"Brad, you're F'ing MAKING IT UP!"
"Man, I PROMISE I'm NOT."
"Then why didn't you TELL ME?!"
The next time I closed, I invited Ann to come out to the store anytime. She sounded delighted and asked what time would be good for me.
"ANY time, really!" I said, a bit too eager. "We never have any customers anyway...."
And she laughed, and I was circling around the ceiling again.
I was thrilled about this, the first positive response I'd had from a woman in months, and I told everyone that the woman with the gorgeous voice at the alarm company wanted to meet me and thought I was crazy.
"I'll agree with THAT," said Robyn my Manager.
But I never got to meet the woman with the voluptuous voice. For some reason, Ann stopped answering the phone. And the next step in my ongoing drama with the record store kicked in way too fast....