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)
B: Robert? (cool voice)
R: Yes, what is it? (worried)
B: We have to stop seeing each other (still a cool voice)
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.
(translated by Julia)