The phone rings. Another caller. “It’s me” She instantly recognized his voice. “Thank you for calling ABC Corporation. How can I help you today?”
“You know how you can help me?” he says with the intensity he has called every night at the call center.
“Sir, I am sorry but I have told you again and again that I cannot meet you” She was used to this routine of push and pull. She wanted to bang the phone down but a job meant food on the table for her child and her husband. She suppressed the urge to disconnect and proceeded as per protocol.
“Why can’t you meet me? What have I done? Don’t you remember? We were together in our previous birth!” The pace of his breathing increased and she knew what was coming next.
“Sir, if there is anything in regard to the product from ABC Corporation I can help you. Or else I am afraid I have to disconnect this call” She reached for the red button but he said “Wait, Wait … ok you don’t want to meet me. I won’t call you again”. She had heard this repeatedly in the past month, she knew she could not believe him. “But you have to fulfill my one wish. You have to tell your daughter and your unborn child that there was someone who loved you more than life itself.” She panicked. She had never mentioned her family to him. How did he know? Was he following her? Was he stalking her? She knew all calls got recorded and she signaled to her supervisor to listen to the call.
He said “I know you don’t want to see me but I am leaving the country and I want to see you “. Her supervisor indicated to her to transfer the call to him. But she persisted.
“Sir, I am afraid I have to transfer this call to my supervisor.” Her hand was on her belly, protective of her unborn child.
“Who? That buffoon Mehta? He doesn’t know the C of customer service! He came up the ranks only by buttering the bosses with compliments. I am surprised he is still on shift considering his girlfriend left work an hour back. Cheater that he is! Did he tell you how he drops her home on the pretext of safety and tells his wife he is working late?” The supervisor rushed to her fuming with rage and grabbed her headset from her head.
“You listen, you piece…”Beep Beep… the line went dead.
Without a word, Mehta went back to his desk and traced the call… Obviously it was switched off. Cursing, he announced to the remaining four employees on the floor “Anyone gets a call from number ending in 1243, transfers the call to me directly”
She logged out and puked her dinner. Somehow the thought of the stalker being in the same office as her made her feel dirty. Dirty because he must have seen her, walked past her, maybe had talked to her. How she wished to be home curled up against her daughter, who was sleeping without a care in the world.