Элинка (elinka) wrote,

One page. An attempt at nonfiction.

The Voice


           Alone in the living room I looked at the photos on the mantel wishing for a cup of coffee.  With my back to the door I heard a familiar voice, but the face of the man speaking was new to me.  I listened again and realized who it was, but couldn’t believe that it was the same voice I’ve been hearing for the last year and a half in an online voice chat.  All of a sudden, the room temperature climbed ten degrees and I couldn’t stop my heart from beating faster and faster.   Dozens of questions jumped around in my head at once while my ears kept registering the recognition again and again.  Should I let him know who I was?  Or should I keep quiet and later make fun of him with bits of newly acquired personal information?  No, I couldn’t go through with that, no matter how much fun it promised.  I don’t have a poker face.

          I’ve been having fun online, and he’s been entertaining most of the time.  We’ve even shared an inside joke about coffee.  Invariably, all our conversations had a reference to a French roast.  He’s given me advice on stock trading and traveling.  I’ve helped him find books for his recent trip to Moscow.  Chat, that’s all it was, and neither one of us has had any plans to have that cup of French roast face to face. 

          I had to get out of Masha’s house for a minute to clear my head or maybe go home.  But I couldn’t leave yet, we’ve just arrived after a funeral and I had no prepared explanation for my immediate departure to offer my friend or my mother.  After a few minutes in the fresh air I went back inside and saw a gray haired woman introducing herself to my virtual friend.

She offered me her hand: “I’m Debbie, Masha’s cousin.”

“Elina, Masha’s friend.”

“Felix,”- he said extending his hand to me, “my wife’s family are distant relatives of Masha’s.”  No sign of recognition in him, not even a promise or gleam in his eyes. Nothing. 

When Debbie moved on to the next couple I stayed behind and smiled at him: “How was your trip to Moscow?”

“How did you know I went to Moscow?” The smile gone from his lips, Felix looked at me suspiciously. “Very few people knew about my trip.”

“Well, I guess, I knew too.”

“But how?”

“You did go to Moscow?”


“Did you, by any chance, take some books there?”  I paused to let my words sink in.

“Elina!”  His voice was full of disbelief, and his jaw dropped open.  Still not recovered from the shock he asked me how I recognized him.  I don’t think he believed me when I said by his voice.  We were both amazed at the incredulity of the situation.  It took him a few minutes to recover. I’m still not recovered.

Meanwhile, the food appeared on the table.  My mother came out and found me all anxious and agitated.  She new something was up, so I had to tell her.  She laughed and wanted to see who he was.  I was hungry, but couldn’t eat.

“Is there going to be any coffee?” I asked Felix.  He promised me some.

Tags: non-fiction

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