The front porch light is on. I don’t enter the house but get into the car and sit in the passenger seat, locking the doors in fear of the man who is me, and turn up the heating. I get out my phone and my finger hovers over Christian’s number. He did say call whenever.
“Hello?” his voice is black and brittle like a smoker’s lung with a voice box. I look at the clock, it is half four.
“Hey Christian, it’s Edward. Sorry to call you now, I know we only saw each other a few hours ago, but I really need your help,” I say.
“It’s four. I can’t do insurance right now,” he says, not angry, just confused.
“It’s not about insurance.”
“The girl you were talking about tonight, the traveller,” I say.
“Eh. My client? What of her?” he asks.
“Could. Could you give me her number?”
“What?” he is taken aback but quickly accustoms himself to my apparent infidelity with an experienced eagerness, “You cheeky guy. I can’t say I blame you -”
“Not like that, I need to talk to her, I need to talk to her for a project I’m doing. Writing,” I insist.
“Sure, Eddie. I’m not really allowed to give out my client’s numbers, confidentiality and all that,” he says but he sounds easily swayed.
“Just this one time. I would really appreciate it. I need this.”
There is a pause and I can hear a rustling on the other line, “Alright. Give me one second.”
I hear the flick of a light-switch.
“Yep, here it is. Her name is Cora Myoko-Smith.”
He reads out the number and I scribble it with a pen on a piece of paper from the passenger dashboard cubby hole.
“Thanks so much, I won’t do anything stupid,” I say, “I’ll see you soon.”
“Sure, sure. Whatever you say, pal. I won’t tell the ladies,” and if we were next to each other he would have winked like a cartoon character.
I hang up, close my eyes in relief and fall asleep right there in the car.