It was uncomfortable, from one side of the telephone. It was uncomfortable, from both sides. From one side, the secretary was looking for the necessary pieces of information that were needed for the conversation to continue. And she was doing it so calmly. ‘It’s just a minute’, she confirmed. In that minute, in silence, with the telephone tube on the ear, it was like a war had happened in between.
From the other side, the delivery man was waiting, feeling uncomfortable in an awkward position, for the address to take note. ‘It’s just a minute’, he confirmed what she confirmed. In that minute anything could happen. Rain could start to fall; and he could feel the humidity in the air.
Thirty seconds were already gone over the agreed minute, the secretary searched through the papers with too much calmness, without any answers. She opened the second folder; she examined her nail where the polish was starting to break. I think it’s somewhere here, I’m almost done. It was heard from both sides of the phone, but they repeated the information anyway. It has been two minutes already, in silence, just hearing a faltering respiration.
Both, without daring to put the phone away, contained the respiration as they could, because the silence was uncomfortable enough to try to embellish it. Two minutes and a half. They could have deactivated a bomb in between.
She closed the second folder and she took her hot pink cell phone. ‘I’m going to call the other secretary. She should know the client address’. From one side of the line, the man repeats this, as he changes the position on the chair. The delivery boy repeats it too, for himself, as he stretches his aching back.
The calling tone rang three times until it stopped and a feminine voice, she was eating bubble-gum, answered the call. ‘The address? Yes, I have it; it’s in one of these folders’. Uncomfortable, with both respirations taking turns on the telephone tube, she started searching. After thirty seconds, both realised that there was a possibility for this to take time, so one of them started to breathe slower and the other one hid the gum in a corner of her mouth.