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rmmmm1959@hotmail.com
Rob Radboud

www.barbarayung.nl

Barbara Yung's life in England

Strange phonecall  奇怪的通话  1978

In the student world in 1978 a telephone was a rare item, a luxury. Most of us didn't have one. Sometimes friends were lucky and got a room in a student house with a phone. A phone connection for just yourself was just too expensive. We didn't have a phone in our apartment. Downstairs by the entrance there was a public phone. The problem was that if Barbara wanted to get in touch with me, she only could reach me by coming round. None of our friends had a phone. Therefore if something unexpected happened we couldn't get in touch with each other. Also Barbara had forbidden me to phone her at home. She didn't want it to happen that her uncle or mother would pick up the phone when I called her. Only the thought of that would make her nervous every time the phone rings.

One day Barbara didn't turn up at school. That was strange, Barbara never missed school, she was never sick or she never had to go somewhere suddenly. None of our friends knew why Barbara wasn't at school. Even the teaching staf hadn't received any messages. I always listened to Barbara therefore I did not dare to phone her. Finally I got a girlfriend to call. Barbara picked up the phone immediately. She told her that she had fainted the evening before, while working in the fish and chip shop. Her mother insisted that she went to the doctor. He diagnosed low blood pressure and suggested she take a rest for while. Her mother decided that she wasn't allowed to go school that day. The following day Barbara came to the CCAT again. She was quite cross with me. She had been sitting all day beside the phone hoping I would call, and I didn't!.

This incident made us decide that we had to find out another way in which Barbara could com-municate with me in case of unexpected events. We found an expensive but thrust worthy way. Barbara would call a taxi, and ask them to go round to the apartment and leave a message. It was an expensive way to communicate, especially if I wasn't home and the taxi came round several times. Then I had to pay for every trip they came round.
One evening a taxi came round with the message that I had to Barbara immediately. So I did. The conversation went like this:

B: Hello (hesitating)
R: Hi,
B: Robert? (cool voice)
R: Yes, what is it? (worried)
B: We have to stop seeing each other (still a cool voice)
R: What!!
B: I don't want to see you anymore (no emotions)
R: What is going on (panic)
B: Just forget about me, you soon find someone else. Don't try to come round or phone me, leave me alone at school. (stern and determined)
R: But.. (confused)
She hang up but just before she did she said very softly "don't believe anything I say"

I had no idea what was going on, this was all sudden and I couldn't think of any reason why she wanted to break up. Besides that my whole life was centered around Barbara, I felt that my whole life seemed to collapse. It was a terrible feeling, not understanding why this was happening and not being able to do something about it. The only thing I could do was wait till the next morning. Then I would certainly speak to her at school and try to find out what was going on. I didn't sleep very well that night, I couldn't believe this was happening.

The following morning before school started Barbara came to the apartment. She explained that the evening before she had a really bad argument with her mother about me. She got so fed up with the discussion that she wanted her mother to believe that she was going to end our relationship, so her mother would leave her alone. Therefore she decided to make that phone call while her uncle and mother were listening . She didn't understand why I thought she wanted to break up. She said: "Why where you so upset? I told you not to believe me":
Sometimes Barbara made my life very difficult.

 

 

奇怪的通话

在1978年,作为学生,能拥有一部电话是很罕见的,电话是个奢侈品。绝大多数学生都没有,有的学生很幸运在学生之家那样的独立屋里分得一个里面有电话的房间。个人要安装接通电话线的话很贵,我和美玲的公寓没有电话,楼底下门口那里有一个公用电话。问题在这里,我们的朋友也都没有电话,要是美玲想要跟我联系,她只能亲自过来,要是有什么事情突然发生了,我们之间完全联系不上。并且美玲不许我向她家打电话找她,她可不想我打电话过去,是她妈妈或者她舅父拿起了听筒。甚至只要她家的电话铃一响,她就特别紧张,希望千万别是我。

有一天美玲没来上学,这事有点怪,因为美玲从来不缺课,她从不生病或者突然要去哪里办事。没有一个朋友知道为什么美玲没来上课,就算是老师也不知道,她也没有托人请假。我总是很听美玲的话,所以我那时不敢打给她。终于我找到一个女性朋友来打给她,电话刚一打过去,美玲马上就拿起了电话,美玲告诉她前一天晚上自己在鱼肉薯片店工作时晕倒了,她妈妈坚持要她去看医生,医生诊断是低血压,要她休息一段时间,美玲母亲就决定让美玲第二天不上学了。接下来的那天,美玲又来CCAT上学了。她对我很恼怒,因为她一整天都坐在电话机旁,希望我会打给她,可是我却没有。

这个事件让我们俩考虑得另想办法,在有什么突然事件发生时,美玲能够联系上我。我们找到了一个很贵但相当有效的办法:美玲可以打电话叫的士,要求的士司机开去我们的公寓,然后司机到我公寓来敲门传话给我。这种沟通的方式很贵,特别是如果我不在家时,的士就得多来几次才能撞到我,那我必须付每次的的士费。

有一天晚上一辆的士过来告诉我美玲叫我马上打电话给她。于是就有了我们下面的对话:

美玲:你好!(犹豫,停顿)
ROB:你好!
美玲:是罗伯特吗?(冷漠的声音)
ROB:是啊,怎么了?(焦急地)
美玲:我们以后不能见面了(仍然是冷漠的声音)
ROB:什么?!
美玲:我以后不想再见你了(毫无感情地)
ROB:发生什么事了?(大惊,惊慌失措)
美玲:忘了我吧,很快你就会找到别的女孩。不要再来找我或者打电话给我,在学校里也不要来烦我。(严厉地,不容质疑地)
ROB:可是......(困惑地)
美玲挂断了电话,在挂断之前,她轻声说了一句:别相信我说的话。
我真是搞不懂这究竟是怎么一回事,太突然了,我想不出她因为什么要与我分手。我的整个人生都是以美玲为中心的,我觉得我整个人生快要坍塌了。这感觉太恐怖了,不知道为什么会这样,而且什么也不能做。唯一能做的事就是等到第二天早上,那时就可以面对面跟她讲话,知道到底是怎么回事。那天晚上我没睡好,我真不敢相信这是她说的话。

第二天早上美玲在上课之前先来到了我们的公寓。她解释说前一天晚上她跟她妈妈因为我的事情大吵了一架。她跟她妈妈越吵越烦,干脆就假装答应她妈妈要和我分手,那她妈妈就不会缠着她跟她吵了。于是美玲就在她母亲和舅父在场听着的情况下,打了那个电话。美玲不明白我为什么会认为她想分手,她说:你干嘛那么难过呀?我告诉你了不要相信我说的话。
有的时候美玲让我活得很难受。


(translated by Julia)

 

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