Saturday, 4:15 pm: I return from work to find our garden gate flung open. The gate was not open when I left that morning. I check the yard and then enter the house cautiously.
4:45 pm: Our landline is not working. I unplug and re-plug all the phones in the house. Despite my technical savvy, the phones do not magically work again.
5 pm: I use my cell phone to call the phone company. The customer service representative puts me on hold to run some tests. When he returns he says, “Yup, your line is at 0.” I immediately think of the garden gate. “Like… dead?” I ask. “Yes,” he says cheerfully, “I’ll send a technician on Monday!”
5:10 pm: I wonder if the criminal who cut my phone line will let me use my cell phone to call 911 before doing away with me.
5:15 pm: I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. I think of that movie When a Stranger Calls, but then remember that our phone line isn’t working, which will make it difficult for a nefarious criminal to call me from within the house.
5:20 pm: I ensure all curtains are open. I don’t want to pull one back later in the evening only to discover an axe wielding murderer reflected in the window as lightning flashes across the darkened sky.
5:30 pm: I walk the yard, surveying the perimeter of the house, checking for cut phone lines.
5:45 pm: I email my partner Derek and tell him not to attempt getting in touch via landline as the line is dead/possibly cut. He is on a golf trip and responds with an “Okay!”
6 pm: I keep myself busy. I deposit a cheque at the bank. I make myself a salad (possibly my last), and then begin watching episodes of Forensic Files which, admittedly, may have been a mistake.
8:30 pm: I decide I shouldn’t be nervous just because Derek is away. I don’t need a man to protect me.
8:45 pm: I begin making a list of people who might want to murder me. The list is surprisingly long.
10 pm: I fall asleep watching Forensic Files, clasping my cell phone.
4 am, Sunday: I wake to the sounds of young men rearranging construction pylons on my street. They sound merry, and in their intoxicated state, incapable of organizing a murder.
6 am: Good news… I awake, unmurdered.
6:15 am: I note that the construction pylons on our street have been arranged in an extremely methodical fashion. I realize the young men were absolutely capable of organizing a murder, and possibly, my freezer.
5 pm: I return from work to find Derek standing at the door.
“So, the phone’s still dead,” I shrug, “but they’re coming to fix it tomorrow.”
Derek picks up the phone and listens. “There’s no dial tone!”
“Right. I emailed you about that.”
“Yes,” he says, “but I didn’t know the dial tone wasn’t working!”
“That’s what ‘our landline isn’t working’ means.”
“Honey?” Derek seems uneasy. “Don’t get angry. I might have unplugged something downstairs.”
I hear things being moved around in the basement. Our phones happily beep as they are connected to live lines again.
“I guess I shouldn’t have unplugged that stuff!” he says.
“Or maybe you could have mentioned the unplugging of that stuff when I emailed you last night.”
“Yeah. We should probably go out for dinner, right?”
“At least we know I can use the phone to make a reservation!”
“Yes,” I sigh. “There’s that.”